A YouTuber who is UKIP’s star recruit to run in the upcoming European elections has a history of using racial slurs, including repeatedly saying the word n-word, BuzzFeed News has found.
Carl Benjamin, known by his moniker Sargon of Akkad, was tapped to run by UKIP for next month’s election as part of the anti-immigration party’s attempt to appeal to younger, more online, far-right voters.
Since the announcement earlier this month, much of the mainstream media scrutiny of UKIP and Benjamin has focused on a disparaging tweet about rape he sent to Labour MP Jess Phillips. It led to tense scenes at the party’s official launch, where Benjamin shouted at a woman journalist that he wouldn’t apologise.
UKIP leader Gerard Batten defended Benjamin and fellow YouTuber-cum-UKIP candidate Markus Meechan — known online as Count Dankula. “These gentlemen are free speech merchants making comedy acts.”
But a review of YouTube videos, recorded Google Hangouts, livestreams, and podcasts featuring Benjamin shows the newly minted political candidate has a track record of using racial slurs and other offensive terms.
In two videos — one of which has since been deleted by YouTube — Benjamin repeatedly used the n-word. He said a YouTuber and the alt-right were “faggots” and “acting like niggers” in showing him disrespect because “white people are supposed to be polite”.
In another video, Benjamin said Jewish people “needed to drop the identity politics” before, adding: “I’m sorry about the Holocaust, but I don’t give a shit.” In another video, Benjamin linked feminism with mass killings carried out by misogynistic men.
Last week, BuzzFeed News revealed Benjamin was organising his campaign for the EU elections on a private Discord server, inviting supporters to join his gaming chat community, which was full of death threats towards EU MPs, anti-Semitism, and white supremacist comments. Responding to questions, Benjamin blamed “alt-right infiltration” and that his “moderation team” sometimes missed the comments.
Approached by BuzzFeed News for comment on Thursday, Benjamin provided a statement: “BREAKING NEWS: Anti-political correctness entertainer has used naughty words for fun. Subscribe to Buzzfeed for more hard-hitting and worthwhile political activism.
“I expect my statement to be printed in full, have a great day.”
UKIP declined to comment when asked whether it would stand by Benjamin as a candidate and whether the political organisation endorsed the use of racist and anti-gay language.
In February last year, Benjamin took part in a Google Hangout with a far-right YouTube user who goes by the name Michelle Catlin. The discussion centred around how various far-right figures were making memes about Benjamin’s self-proclaimed belief in “liberalism”.
But over halfway into the two-hour video, Benjamin seemed to lose his patience for the discussion. He repeatedly resorted to calling Catlin the n-word for not being able to have a civilised conversation.
“This is what I mean about the chat, I just can’t be bothered to deal with people who treat me like this, it’s really annoying,” Benjamin said. “You’re acting like a bunch of niggers, just so you know.
“You act like white niggers. Exactly how you describe black people acting is the impression I get dealing with the alt-right.
“I am just not in the mood to deal with this type of disrespect. I know it sounds like, ‘Oh my god, he’s demanding respect.’ Well to be honest with you, do you not think we should have a level of decorum and interpersonal interactions?
“‘Oh look the internet is bullying me,’ I am not saying you’re bullying me. I’m just saying there’s just no point dealing with this type of attitude
Benjamin pushed back against a portrayal of being an “upper-class twat”: “You understand I am a person don’t you?”
He continued: “You carry on, but don’t expect that I have to debate with one of you faggots. Why would I bother? Like why would I bother?”
“‘You act like an upper class twat’? Maybe you’re just acting like a nigger, mate. Have you considered that? Do you think white people act like this? White people are meant to be polite and respectful to one another and you guys can’t even act like white people.
“It’s really, like, amazing to me.”
The payment platform Patreon later removed Benjamin from its service saying it had acted on a complaint about the February video of the Google Hangout with Catlin. Benjamin responded by posting another YouTube video, titled “You Cannot Trust Patreon (#PatreonPurge 1),” where he explained why he’d repeatedly used the slurs.
“I was trying to use their own language against them,” Benjamin said. “And do what I can to hurt them because they were doing what they could to make my life an absolute misery.”
A few months after the rant on the Google Hangout, Benjamin appeared in New York alongside YouTube-based independent journalist Tim Pool and stand-up actor-comedian Carlos Alazraqui for an evening of free-wheeling discussion with questions asked from the gathered audience.
The video of the trio’s appearance was uploaded to Benjamin’s YouTube channel under the title “The Manhattan Panel”. Towards the end of the evening, an audience member asked about an “influential and powerful” Jewish political group, and how he can “point them out without automatically engaging in what can be considered identity politics”.
Benjamin addressed the question by talking about the antisemitism scandal within Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party: “I am loathe to defend a socialist like Jeremy Corbyn but he didn’t deserve the absolute pasting he got in my country.”
He went with a rambling explanation of “resentment” towards Jews and “identity politics”.
“Jewish people do very well in our societies. That’s to their credit, they work hard. It’s not that this is illegitimately gained. But then I can see why people are resentful that successful, rich, well-off people, who are well connected, who are socially very advanced, are then playing the game of identity politics as well.
“I can see why it doesn’t seem fair. It seems like an unfair defence, an unfair advantage that they have. If someone were to say, ‘Well that’s anti-semitic thing to say,’ it would sound to me like someone criticising feminism and being called a mysoginist. To me it’s just another brand of identity politics.”
Benjamin said there needed to be an “honest conversation” and continued: “Jewish people are very smart, they work very hard, of course they’re successful, if we want to even have any idea that we’re living in a meritocracy, if Jews weren’t succeeding in our societies they must be being held back. But they’re not, they’re doing great, because they’re not being held back, because they do work hard, because they are smart.
“We need Jewish people, unfortunately for them, have got to drop the identity politics.
“I’m sorry about the Holocaust but I don’t give a shit. I’m sorry.”
In 2017, Benjamin interviewed a Singaporean blogger called Amos Yee for his podcast, The Thinkery Podcast, where the two discussed scrapping the age of consent for sex. During the interview, Yee argued it “should be fine” and “completely reasonable” for adults to have sex with 13- or 14-year-olds.
“It’s controversial because people have a kind of mental block in their minds when they talk about this,” Benjamin said. “Because in, I think probably this country, we’re in America at the moment and in Britain the age of consent is 16. If you were to say something like, ‘Well, I think it should be reduced to 14,’ that sounds like a hugely controversial opinion, that sounds like you want adults to prey on children.”
“Exactly,” Yee replied.
“It’s actually not as controversial as you think,” Benjamin said. “For example, I think in the Netherlands the age of consent is something like 12 or 14. It’s actually surprisingly young to Western, you know, English-speaking sensibilities. But across the European continent its a lot lower than you would think.
“So you’re being treated like you’re a terrible criminal but that means the Dutch are terrible criminals as well.”
The age of consent for sex in the Netherlands is 16 years old, consistent with the UK. Benjamin added that he didn’t want to change the age of consent.
Benjamin has also addressed the topic of male mass murder and feminism to his YouTube followers multiple times. As the Guardian first reported on Monday, in a 2014 video posted after Elliot Rodger murdered six people in California, Benjamin told viewers: “This is what feminism has wrought — a generation of men who do not know what to do, who are being demonised for what they are.”
In a YouTube livestream posted in May last year, Benjamin returned to the topic. His livestream was titled “The Incel Rebellion Has Begun” and the YouTuber repeatedly laughed while scrolling through the online news coverage of the Toronto van attack, where a self-described incel inspired by Elliot Rodger murdered 10 people.
He read the New York Times definition of incels, that is, “misogynists who are deeply suspicious and disparaging of women, whom they blame for denying them their right to sexual intercourse”.
“They sound like feminists who blame men for denying them the top jobs that they deserve,” Benjamin said. “This entitlement thing, if feminists hadn’t spent the last 20 fucking years being so goddamn entitled, I wouldn’t be able to sit there and turn this around and make incels sound like a male-feminist movement. Incidentally, to point how absolutely pathetic feminists are.”
In an archived version of a YouTube video Benjamin posted in 2015, the political commentator narrated along to a 2011 educational video about the word “retard” and other abusive terms towards minorities, which featured Glee cast members Jane Lynch and Lauren Potter.
It showed a series of actors as minorities asking for people not to call them slurs. In Benjamin’s video, he paused after each one to repeat the slurs, often gleefully, or go further.
It opens with a black actor saying, “It’s not acceptable to call me a nigger.”
“Why would you begin our conversation like that?” Benjamin said, pausing the video. “It kind of makes me think you want the internet to open up with a big bunch of memes on your ass calling you a nigger. It’s not personal — no one really thinks you’re a nigger.”
“It’s just that you’ve turned around and said, ‘It’s not acceptable to call me a nigger!’ And no one fucking one knows you, dude, you’re wearing a suit and tie. No one thinks you’re some gangster or anything,” he said.
Later, an Asian actor says it’s “not acceptable to call me a chink”.
“You lose! It’s actually fine. It’s actually just fucking fine and I’ll tell you why. Because Asians are privileged,” Benjamin says. After ranting about Asians “making more money”, doing “better in life” and having “institutional privilege” over white people, Benjamin adds: “So fuck off, chink, it’s ok for me to call you this because racism is power plus prejudice.”
A male actor then says, “It’s not acceptable to call me a fag.”
“Oh fuck off, you fag,” Benjamin replies. “That’s not racial discrimination, that’s not even sexual discrimination, that’s just you being a fucking fag. I don’t even know if you’re gay, you might not be gay, but you’re still a fag. Shut up, fuck off.”
Another male actor then says to the camera, “It’s not acceptable to call me a kike.” The video pauses and Benjamin says, “I totally agree, absolutely unacceptable, how dare you.”
Anti-Semitic images are then overlayed on the screen, showing several different versions of hook-nosed caricatures.
The video ends on Potter, who has Down syndrome, asking not to be called a “retard”. Alongside her, Lynch says the r-word is like any other minority slur.
“Well then good job trivialising minority slurs, you nigger, spic, fag, chink, kike, retard,” Benjamin said, again pausing the video. “Who the fuck do you think you are? Do you think you’re my mum or something?”
The video was later removed from YouTube for violating the company’s policies.
Additional reporting by James MacWhirter.
Mark Di Stefano is a media and politics correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
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Alex Wickham is a senior reporter with BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
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