A popular YouTube personality is getting severely criticized online for his views on immigration and the opinion that white people will be a minority in America by 2042. JonTron aka Jonathan Jafari is a ubiquitous presence on YouTube gaming channels regularly reviewing games and retro movies. On his personal channel, JonTronShow, he’s amassed over 3 million followers and over 400 million views.
The controversy involving Jafari began on March 12 when he appeared to endorse Rep. Steve King’s statements, “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.” Rep. King’s words have been widely slammed, including by members of his own party, as an endorsement of white nationalism. While Jafari struck a different tone on Twitter saying, “Wow, how scandalous, Steve King doesn’t want his country invaded by people who have contempt for his culture and people! NAZI!!!”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. In a 2 Hour Interview, Jafari Said That Mexican People Are Attempting to Steal Parts of the U.S.
In the aftermath of Jafari’s initial tweet endorsing Rep. King’s comments, the YouTuber gave an interview to Steve Bonnell aka Destiny. The piece lasts for over two hours. During that time, Jafari explains that America doesn’t “need immigrants from incompatible places.” He also said there is no racism within the U.S. court system and that richer black criminals in America than there are poor white ones. Jafari thinks that white people will become a minority in the U.S. by 2042.
In an interview with Gizmodo, Bonnell talked about his reaction to the interview, “I thought he would walk back some of the more extreme things he said, but it seems like he was pushing for something more insidious than what I’d originally expected. ie: his ‘gene pool’ comment, his laughing about why black youth committed crime, his comparisons between black people in the U.S. vs Africa.”
While Reddit user JohnLMonkey said of Jafari, “Jon argued that the most well off black man is somehow more violent or more likely to be a criminal than the worst off whites and that’s the end for me. I’m all for separating art and politics but I can’t support him when he openly spouts Stormfront talking points.”
Jafari is half-Iranian and half-Hungarian. He also said of immigrants, “If they assimilated, they would enter the gene pool, eventually.”
2. Jafari Says on Facebook That He Has a ‘Penchant for Yelling at Rotten Media’
In total, Jafari has amassed around 12 million subscribers across several channels and social media accounts. One of the shows he is featured on, DidYouKnowGaming, has lost a “few hundred” users since Jafari’s opinions have been made known, creator Shane Gill told TIME Magazine.
Urban Dictionary has defined Jafari as an “accredited internet phenom.” He is now based in New York City.
According to his Facebook page, Jafari’s show is described as “A comedy show about a guy, his parrot, and a penchant for yelling at rotten media.” He was born in California in 1990. The most viewed video on his YouTube channel is of him doing a cover of Katy Perry’s “Firework.”
3. Jafari Told Breitbart That He Supported Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Election
Jafari gave an interview to Breitbart in the wake of the 2016 Presidential Election. Jafari told the right-wing website that he voted for President Obama in 2008 and 2012. He added that he supported Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries.
He also takes serious aim at the media’s performance during the election saying:
I mean, they had spun Donald Trump’s campaign since the very first day. They didn’t even stop to say, “Are we doing any accurate reporting? Maybe we should be a little more unbiased, even if we don’t like this candidate,” which is fair.
But I think the blatant lies have killed their credibility, and I’d say that’s rightly so. I don’t think people will trust them, at least until they redeem some of their credibility.
When asked about his political identity, Jafari said, “I think I’m just somebody who tries to make the best decision every time.”
4. He Accused the 2017 Women’s March of Being ‘Sexist’
In early 2017, Jafari began attracting the ire of many on social media. It began when he criticized those who were protesting Donald Trump’s presidency. He then switched his focus to the Women’s March. In one tweet, Jafari wrote, “Guys, hate to break it to you, supporting an entire gender on virtue of its gender is something called “SEXIST.”
He followed that up with, “What if she were a murderer? Or even worse, a CONSERVATIVE woman?! You guys hate those!”
Jafari had elaborated on his opinions in the Breitbart interview prior to the Women’s March:
Yeah, I definitely do. I think we’re in sort of a period where everybody has to think one way, in the mainstream way, or else they get socially outcasted. It’s almost a monopoly of thought that the left has, and it’s anti- what they claim to be so pro, which is free speech and liberty. But it’s like, “You’re only correct if you agree with me.”
Or, “You can have your opinion as long as it’s in line with mine.” I think that’s the prevailing thought of the left at the moment.
5. Rep. Steve King Has Since Been ‘Doubling Down’ on His Comments About Race
Since making his comments on Twitter, which were in support of far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders, Rep. Steve King has been “doubling down” on his comments. In an appearance on New Day on CNN, King said that his comments weren’t racist but about, “our stock, our country, our culture, our civilization… we need to have enough babies to replace ourselves.”
King finished the interview by recommending the novel The Camp of the Saints by Jean Rapail. The book has also been endorsed by Trump advisor Steve Bannon. The Southern Poverty Law Center describes the book as, “a racist fantasy about an invasion of France and the white Western world by a fleet of starving, dark-skinned refugees.”