- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Clinical psychologist and professor Jordan B. Peterson’s critics catapulted him into the news again this week with Queen’s University protests and the ominous threat, “Lock em in and burn it down.”

The Amazon bestselling author of “12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos” has a chapter titled “Assume That The Person You Are Listening To Might Know Something You Don’t.” Canadian students decided on Monday night that it might be preferable to assault or kill their guest speaker — and his audience — instead.

Protest videos shared by the University of Toronto professor on his social media feeds were reported by podcasting star Joe Rogan and The Daily Wire, home of fellow campus lightning rod Ben Shapiro.

“Barbarians at the gate, Queen’s U today: reminiscent of the destruction of the stained glass on Pleasure Island in Pinocchio,” the author tweeted Monday.

Some of the footage captured during the protests revealed the following:

  • A student locked outside the venue pounded on a window until stain glass began to shatter.
  • Another student pounded on a door to the lecture hall while saying “Lock em in and burn it down.”
  • Throngs of students used rattling noise makers, beat random percussion instruments, and screamed, “Shame!”

SEE ALSO: Jordan B. Peterson leaves reporter speechless after her ‘right not to be offended’ remark: ‘Gotcha’

Signs at the protest demanded “respect” for “They” and “Them” pronouns preferred to transgender individuals, a reference to the author’s 2016 opposition to Canada’s “C-16 bill.”

Critics call the psychologist “transphobic” because he said that he would not be coerced by future laws to use state-mandated language.

“[The event] was absolutely surreal,” he tweeted to Mr. Rogan, whose YouTube interviews often draw millions of viewers. “The mob neglected to bring torches and pitchforks, but the sentiment was there: ‘Lock them in and burn it down.’”

The author recently captured global attention during a promotional interview for “12 Rules for Life,” which featured awkward exchanges with British journalist Cathy Newman.

“Why should your right to freedom of speech trump a trans person’s right not to be offended?” the Channel 4 reporter asked Jan. 16.

“Because in order to be able to think, you have to risk being offensive,” Dr. Peterson replied. “I mean, look at the conversation we’re having right now. You’re certainly willing to risk offending me in the pursuit of truth. Why should you have the right to do that? It’s been rather uncomfortable. … You’re doing what you should do, which is digging a bit to see what the hell is going on. And that is what you should do. But you’re exercising your freedom of speech to certainly risk offending me, and that’s fine. More power to you, as far as I’m concerned.”

Ms. Newman sat in stunned silence until her guest said, “Ha. Gotcha.”

“You have got me,” she conceded. “You have got me. I’m trying to work that through my head. It took a while. It took a while. It took a while.”

The interview was viewed over 8 million times on Channel 4’s YouTube page.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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