A councilman in Washington, D.C., apologised for suggesting on Facebook that rich Jews who control the weather caused an unexpected snowstorm.
Trayon White Sr., a Democrat representing the district’s 8th Ward, posted a video early Friday morning in which he accused “the Rothschilds” of controlling the climate to make money — an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that has gained traction on web. He later removed the video, and issued an apology.
The Rothschilds are a well-known European Jewish dynasty descended from a Jewish banker originally from Germany.
In the video, White said: “Man, it just started snowing out of nowhere this morning, man. Y’all better pay attention to this climate control, man, this climate manipulation. 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.”
The Washington Post first reported the story.
Internet conspiracy theorists claim that the Rockefeller Foundation’s Resilient Cities initiative, which provides grants to cities, including Washington, to address environmental and economic problems, is part of a plot to control and reduce the population of North America. And some conspiracy theorists also think the Rothschilds, working together with the Rockefellers, have technology to control the weather.
A YouTube video by a a Northern California conspiracy monger, claiming that the Rothschilds and the Rockefellers are part of a “genocide program,” has been viewed over 55,000 times.
White told The Washington Post, which called him for comment, that the video “says what it says” and expressed surprise that his remarks were considered anti-Semitic. He sent an apology to the newspaper for the post four hours after it appeared online via text message.
“I work hard every day to combat racism and prejudices of all kinds. I want to apologise to the Jewish Community and anyone I have offended,” he said in the text. “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.”
White said that the Jews United for Justice, a group that advocates for progressive causes and which endorsed him in 2016, was “helping me to understand the history of comments made against Jews and I am committed to figuring out ways continue to be allies with them and others.”
A City Council colleague, Brianne Nadeau, a Democrat who is Jewish and represents the district’s diverse 1st Ward, said in a Facebook post that White had reached out to her to apologise and “expressed his sincere regret, I believe, for having offended members of the Jewish community.”
“I believe he is being truthful when he says he didn’t realise what his statement implied,” Nadeau added.
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.