Historian Gives Alt-Right Icon A History Lesson On Twitter And It's Worth The Read

Even J.K. Rowling took notice.

English historian Mike Stuchbery served up a pointed history lesson for a prominent figure in the alt-right nationalist movement.

Last week, Paul Joseph Watson, a writer for the conspiracy theory website Infowars and a popular alt-right pundit, took a shot at BBC for an animated video that featured people of color in Roman Britain.   

"Thank God the BBC is portraying Roman Britain as ethnically diverse," Watson wrote. "I mean, who cares about historical accuracy, right?"

Little did Watson know, but Stuchbery was one of his followers — and had no interest in letting Watson perpetuate a lie. Within a few hours, Stuchbery unleashed a long thread responding to Watson and debunking the idea that Roman Britain — the area of Great Britain governed by Rome between 43 and 410 AD — was not ethnically diverse.

"Roman Britain was ethnically diverse, almost by design," Stuchbery said. "To begin, occupying legions were drawn from other parts of the Empire."

Stuchbery's response quickly went viral for its poignancy and the sources he provided. While he and Watson continue to feud, his original response has now been liked over 16,000 times. And even though some might just be entertained by a Twitter feud, it's easy to understand why an interaction like this is important.  

Often times, rumors and innuendo are spread online without the experts weighing in — a phenomenon that's been dubbed fake news. With that in mind, it's nice to see a historian putting some expertise up against a misleading comment that was being viewed by thousands of people online. To put the cherry on top, Stuchbery even got a shoutout from J.K. Rowling. 

Cover photo: Shutterstock / Angelina Dimitrova

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