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Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

‘I hate that man’: Students, community members protest Jordan Peterson tour, call for Gaza ceasefire

Protesters gathered outside Century II Performing Arts and Convention Center and down Douglas Avenue on Monday night to voice their support for Palestine and to oppose Jordan Peterson’s event, which was hosted at the convention center.

Kendah Ballout, a member of Students for Justice in Palestine and protest organizer, said the group disagreed with Peterson’s views and presence at Century II. The organization decided to protest there because Peterson’s event helped increase their message’s visibility.

Peterson came to Wichita as part of his “We Who Wrestle with God” tour. According to his website, Peterson is a psychologist, author and online educator. He has published several books, including “Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief,” which examines many themes, including social conflict and genocide. 

Peterson now produces YouTube and podcast content, occasionally in collaboration with “The Daily Wire,” which signed a content distribution deal with Peterson in 2022.

Peterson has received a wide range of support and scorn regarding his anti-LGBTQ+, anti-feminist and anti-neo-Marxist views. Ballout said these opinions, among others, support reasonings that contribute to oppression and violence.

“Jordan Peterson himself is very xenophobic (and) anti-Arab,” Ballout said. “He’s very pro-the-colonial structures that brought about the Gaza genocide … I hate that man with every fiber of my being.”

The Sunflower reached out to Peterson for comment on Feb. 29, but has yet to receive a response. 

Ballout and more than a dozen others congregated outside of Century II to voice their disdain for Peterson’s beliefs and to call for a ceasefire in Gaza. As of Feb. 28, more than 29,000 Palestinians and 1,200 Israelis have been killed as a result of the war on Gaza. 

 In 1948, the creation of Israel led to the displacement of over 700,000 Palestinians and the capture of 78% of the region’s land. After Hamas, a militant political group, launched a surprise attack on Oct. 7, 2023, Israel started a bombing campaign on Gaza.

As attendees headed into Century II, the protestors chanted statements such as “Gaza must have food and water — Israel, stop the slaughter” and “Justice, justice we know how — lift the siege on Gaza now.”

After a man attempted to take Ballout’s megaphone, Century II security stood at the perimeters of the protest. The security personnel declined interviews with The Sunflower.

Several passersby exchanged words with the protesters. Two shouted derogatory statements about Palestinians. Both declined interviews with The Sunflower.

Troy Orpin, who attended Peterson’s lecture, said the vulgarity of the passerby’s statements wasn’t necessary.

“I wouldn’t be yelling at people like that,” Orpin said. “(The protesters) have the freedom of speech … and it’s fair to be upset about that (Israel bombing Gaza).”

As the line of attendees entering Peterson’s event dwindled, the protesters returned to Douglas Avenue to continue their chants. But according to 11-year-old Ifram, who was protesting with his family, the fight is far from over.

“People are dying in Palestine,” Ifram said. “I want to make them stop.”

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About the Contributor
Allison Campbell, News Editor
Allison Campbell is one of the news editors for The Sunflower. Campbell is a junior pursuing a journalism and media production degree with a minor in English. Campbell hopes to pursue a career in writing or editing after graduation. They use any pronouns.

Comments (3)

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  • P

    Paul RosellMar 1, 2024 at 10:42 am

    Allison
    You are simply wrong
    The creation of Israel in 1948 did not “displace” any Palestinians
    Those who lived within the boundaries at that time are Israeli citizens regardless of faith or nationality
    There are Arabs Muslims and Christians serving in the military of Israel and serving as elected officials in Israel
    There have always been Jews in Israel
    There has never in all of history been a country called “Palestine”
    If you want to be a “journalist” please develop a better “bs detector” and stop printing the propaganda of terrorist murderers!
    The people of Gaza have been war refugees from the several wars Arab nations have waged against Israel
    (Notice not a single Jew or Christian serves in any Arab-State military? So who are the real bigots?)
    Paul Rosell
    644-9768
    Wsu ba journalism

    Reply
    • W

      Wichita peteMar 4, 2024 at 9:55 pm

      Don’t be a hater. She is trying her best to be
      a mainstream media hack that cannot think for herself

      Reply
  • AnonymousMar 1, 2024 at 7:24 am

    Militant group and surprise attack? You mean terrosits? Over compensating for coming from apartheid South Africa. You look old enough to have been around for it.

    Reply