A Washington, D.C., lawmaker has apologized to Jewish colleagues and community members after sharing a video of snowfall on Facebook on Sunday, during which he suggested that Jews control the weather.
The video, just over 20 seconds long, shows snow falling on a busy road in D.C. while narrated by D.C. Councilmember Trayon White Sr. (D-Ward 8). In the video, White references a conspiracy theory that Jewish bankers are controlling the weather, and more specifically, the light snow White was driving through at the time.
“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 in the video. “And D.C. keep talking about, ‘We’re 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.”
While the video is no longer on White’s Facebook page, copies of the video since have circulated online.
White’s reference to the Rothschilds calls back to a European business banking dynasty that has become the center of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, as well as the conspiracy theory around the “Rockefeller Foundation’s Resilient Cities” initiative, which gives grants to cities that address environmental and economic problems. The theory goes that the initiative is part population control scheme for North America and that the Rothschilds and Rockerfellers have technology to “manipulate” weather.
Rabbi Daniel Zemel of Temple Micah in Northwest Washington told the Washington Post that he denounced White’s comments, stating that it adds to the oppression of Jews in America.
Speaking to the Post, White expressed surprise that the video had been understood to be anti-Semitic, stating, “The video says what it says” when asked to clarify his statement. Hours after the Post published its story, however, White sent an apology.
“I work hard every day to combat racism and prejudices of all kinds. I want to apologize to the Jewish Community and anyone I have offended,” White wrote. “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.”
D.C. Council member Brianne K. Nadeau (D-Ward 1), who is Jewish, told the Post that White had apologized and expressed “sincere regret” for his offensive comment.
“It is my sincere hope that my colleague has learned from this experience and that together we can serve the diverse people of the District of Columbia with a focus on lifting each other up, rather than tearing one another down,” Nadeau stated.