Controversial YouTuber Jordan Peterson Reacts to Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Red Skull

Red Skull Cosplay

OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images A fan cosplays as Red Skull at the "For Love of Sci-fi" convention in Manchester on December 4, 2016.

Jordan Peterson is a Candian psychologist, Youtube personality and author of “Twelve Rules For Life: An Antidote for Chaos.” Ta-Nehisi Coates is an American author of National Book Award-winning “Between the World and Me,” and current writer of “Captain America.” Peterson is claiming on his Twitter account that Coates’ version of the iconic Nazi villain Red Skull parodied him.

“Do I really live in a universe where Ta-Nehisi Coates has written a Captain America comic featuring a parody of my ideas as part of the philosophy of the arch villain Red Skull?” Peterson tweeted Monday, less than a week after the release of Captain America Volume 9 #28. In that issue, the Nazi villain takes to the internet to recruit followers. On the panels Peterson posted, Cap opines of the Skull, “He tells them what they always longed to hear. That they are secretly great. That the whole world is against them. That if they’re truly men they’ll fight back.”

In another tweet Peterson replied “What the hell?” and posted a panel depicting Red Skull with word bubbles announcing “10 Rules For Life,” “Chaos and Order” and “The Feminist Trap” next to one calling antisemitic Austrian politician Karl Lueger a “genius.”

The issue comes just before the end of Coates’ two and half year run, set to conclude in June with #30. The author – while noted for his literary output – is no stranger to the world of comics. He’d previously written a lauded run on “Black Panther” and more recently been tapped to pen a new Superman film, as reported in Deadline. In 2018 at the outset of taking over the iconic patriotic hero’s title, Coates wrote an essay “Why I’m Writing ‘Captain America,'” published in the Atlantic.

It is not entirely clear, but it does appear that Peterson was made aware of the issue when he retweeted sociologist Nicholas A. Christakis, who had posted a quote from the Atlantic, where Coates had previously been a national correspondent.

Peterson had commented: “Would it be picayune to point out just how much the once-admirable Atlantic Magazine has helped develop this insanely bullying and self-righteous culture?” User @DidymusSeth responded with an image from the comic and tweeted “Contributors to The Atlantic like Ta-Nehisi Coates are moving on to comics. @jordanbpeterson let me know if any of this looks familiar”

Peterson has been controversial in the past. While his most popular work is centered in the sphere of self-help, the psychologist has in public and on his YouTube channel been critical of “political correctness” and what he refers to as “Post-modern Neo-Marxism.” In 2016 Peterson gained greater exposure when he publically criticized gender-neutral pronouns, specifically in relation to the Canadian law, “An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code.”

Peterson has had conflicts with other public intellectuals before. In 2010 he debated likewise controversial philosopher Slavoj Zizek. Ta-Nehisi Coates is unlikely to comment further. He quit Twitter and his 1.25 million followers in 2016 after exchanging words on the platform with philosopher Cornell West.

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