A Washington, DC, council member apologized Sunday night after receiving backlash for comments he made in a video implying Washington’s snowy March weather was controlled by Jewish financiers.
“I want to apologize to the Jewish Community and anyone I have offended,” councilmember Trayon White Sr. wrote on Twitter and Instagram. “I did not intend to be anti-Semitic, and I see I should not have said that after learning from my colleagues.”
In a video uploaded to his official Facebook page on Friday morning, White referenced the Rothschilds, a European Jewish banking family who have been linked to anti-Semitic conspiracy theories for years.
“Man, it just started snowing out of nowhere this morning, man. Y’all better pay attention to this climate control, man, this climate manipulation,” he says in the video, which was shot through windshield of a car driving through downtown Washington. “And DC keep talking about, ‘We a resilient city.’ And that’s a model based off the Rothschilds controlling the climate to create natural disasters they can pay for to own the cities, man. Be careful.”
The clip was deleted from Facebook following public backlash, including from members of the Jewish community in Washington.
“This kind of anti-Semitism is unacceptable in any public official. This so diminishes what America is about and adds to the oppressive feeling going on in the country right now,” Rabbi Daniel Zemel, of Temple Micah in Washington, told The Washington Post on Sunday. “We all have to be better. Public officials have to learn not to say the first ignorant thing that comes into their head.”
In his apology note, White said he spoke with Jews United for Justice to help him “understand the history of comments made against Jews.”
The organization said in a tweet it looks “forward to working with him toward deeper understanding of antisemitism and toward our collective liberation.”