Ahead of a September appearance at the Durham Performing Arts Center by professional mansplainer Jordan Peterson, the Durham City Council has issued a statement calling on the Durham community “to reject and resist bigotry wherever we encounter it.”
The statement appeared Friday afternoon on Mayor Pro Tem Jillian Johnson’s official Facebook page and is signed by all members of the council as well as Mayor Steve Schewel.
“As many in our community have been disturbed and angered by Mr. Peterson’s racist, misogynist, and transphobic views, we would like to use this opportunity to reiterate our commitments and values to all of you as your elected representatives,” the statement reads.
According to the post, city officials learned of Peterson’s upcoming show at DPAC through the INDY‘s coverage of what DPAC promises will be an event featuring “revolutionary talks on overcoming life’s biggest obstacles, how to improve oneself, the psychology of religion, mythology and much more.”
Peterson was most recently made infamous by his remarks describing women as the cause of men’s rage and suggesting enforced monogamy as the cure. He has characterized white privilege as “not real” and gender-neutral pronouns as “made-up words”—just two of many of Peterson’s ideas that aren’t sitting well in some corners of Durham.
The statement explains that while DPAC is owned by the city, its lineup is decided by the theater’s management companies, Nederlander and PFM.
“We would like to be clear that we respect Mr. Peterson’s right to hold his opinions and to freely state his opinions without government interference,” the statement says. “However, we wish to emphasize that a person’s right to free speech does not include the right to a platform or an audience.”
The statement goes on to declare Durham “a place for all of us—black, white, Asian, Latinx, indigenous, and mixed-race, trans and cis, gay and lesbian, queer, and straight, disabled and able-bodied, young and elderly, women, men, and non-binary, native and immigrant, secular and people of faith. Those who seek to exclude or deny the humanity of others will find no comfort here.”
Read the full statement here: