This alt-right commentator's point about ethnic diversity turned into an epic own goal

Josh Withey@josh_withey
Friday 28 July 2017 10:15
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The past few days have been a rather surreal experience for many, after an extended multi-platform rant on the ethnic diversity in the Roman Empire went viral.

Earlier this week Paul Joseph Watson, an alt-right YouTuber and editor-at-large for the website Infowars, got into a Twitter spat with a historian, when he pointed out that the Roman empire was more diverse than Watson believed it had been.

Watson regularly takes great glee in 'triggering' people with his confrontational views and often refers to those who attempt to argue with him as "libtards" - A combination of liberal and retard, clever right? But over the past few days he has been noticeably infuriated himself after a number of people called him out.

The argument over whether a BBC video was 'historically inaccurate' because it included black animated characters even lead the YouTuber to create a number of videos addressing the entire situation, with one reaching almost 10 minutes in length.

In all the furore over Romans, Muslims and Queen Victoria, one Twitter comment got rather lost in the fray.

After Watson made a video on his original argument about representation in an educational video for seven to 11-year-olds, the historian who originally called him out messaged on Twitter again.

What follows is a series of tweets discussing the sources Stuchbery used to lay out his original argument.

Watson replied:

And also used this, as yet uncredited, statistic.

There was one rather fantastic reply to this... Web developer Oli Allen commented.

Muslims make up 4% of the population of the UK-why do you & your followers make such a fuss if such a small number isn't a big deal?

It's true. IPSOS Mori’s ‘Perils of Perception’ poll states that only 4.8 per cent of the population are Muslim. They also found that we "hugely overestimate the proportion of Muslims" in the country. With many people believing that one in six Britons are Muslim, "when actually fewer than one in 20 are".

It's also true that Watson, or at least his public persona, appears remarkably obsessed with this relatively small percentage of people. The Youtuber has uploaded around 30 videos on Muslims, Islam and other similar subject.

His Twitter also features lines like:

Muslim on Muslim terror. How can we blame this on western foreign policy or mean tweets?

Paris: Muslim attacks man carrying beer with knife. Offended over alcohol during Ramadan?

And:

France & Germany have the highest Muslim populations in Europe. These incidents also happen there almost every month now.

Coincidence? 

Oli's response pointing out the double standards was received exceedingly well by people following the conversation. Meanwhile the people who were very vocal in their outrage over ethnic diversity were strangely quiet on the subject.

Maybe we can put this whole thing to bed now.

More: Alt-right commentator claims Romans weren't ethnically diverse, gets owned by actual historian

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