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DC councilman apologizes for claiming the weather is controlled by Jews

D.C. Council Member Trayon White Sr. Photo via Twitter
D.C. Council member Trayon White Sr., D-Ward 8, posted a video on his Facebook page saying the snow resulted from “the Rothschilds controlling the climate.” (Trayon White/Facebook via Washington Post)

WASHINGTON (RNS) — A city councilman in the nation’s capital has apologized for propagating a conspiracy theory that Jewish financiers control the weather.

On Sunday (March 18), D.C. Council member Trayon White Sr., a Democrat, posted a video to Facebook shortly after snow flurries began to fall in the region. The clip, which was published at 7:21 a.m., featured a narration by White as the camera was pointed out a car windshield to showcase wintry conditions.

“Man, it just started snowing out of nowhere this morning, man. Y’all better pay attention to this climate control, man, this climate manipulation,” White said. “And D.C. 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.”

Mayer Amschel Rothschild was a Jewish banker in 18th-century Frankfurt, Germany, who, with his wealthy family, has long been the subject of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. “In the literature of bigots,” the Rothschilds have been targeted in attacks on Jews as manipulators of global events, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

Blowback to White’s remarks — which included outcry from at least one local rabbi — was swift. Although White initially told The Washington Post he was unsure why the video was being framed as anti-Semitic, he issued an apology hours later.

“I work hard everyday to combat racism and prejudices of all kinds. I want to apologize to the Jewish Community and anyone I have offended,” White told the Post on Sunday.

“The Jewish community have been allies with me in my journey to help people. I did not intend to be anti-Semitic, and I see I should not have said that after learning from my colleagues.”

About the author

Jack Jenkins

Jack Jenkins is a national reporter for RNS based in Washington, covering U.S. Catholics and the intersection of religion and politics.

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