Washington, D.C. council member Trayon White Sr. apologized on Sunday for making comments that a wealthy Jewish banking family was responsible for the winter weather, CNN reports.
White made the comments in a now-deleted Facebook video saying that people should pay attention because he feels the Rothschild family is manipulating the climate.
“Y’all better pay attention to this climate control, man, this climate manipulation,” he says in the video that was shot through a windshield of a car. “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.”
Many were quick to condemn White’s comments, even saying they were Anti-Semitic. The D.C. council member issued an apology to the Jewish community.
“I did not intend to be Anti-Semitic, and I see I should not have said that after learning from my colleagues,” he said in a statement posted on Twitter and Instagram.
I really do apologize. I work very closely with the Jewish community and never want to offend anyone, especially with Anti-Semitic remarks. pic.twitter.com/TvUgf55UeF
— Trayon White (@trayonwhite) March 19, 2018
White received criticism from Jewish religious leaders in D.C. Rabbi Daniel Zemel, of the Temple Micah, told The Washington Post on Sunday that the comments were offensive.
“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,” said Rabbi Zemel. “We all have to be better. Public officials have to learn not to say the first ignorant thing that comes into their head.”
Jews United for Justice, an organization that advocates for justice and equality for the Jewish community, will be working with him to educate him on Anti-Semitism.
“We look forward to working with him toward deeper understanding of antisemitism and toward our collective liberation,” the organization tweeted on Sunday.
We spoke with @trayonwhite tonight about how his comments played into the long history of antisemitism. We look forward to working with him toward deeper understanding of antisemitism and toward our collective liberation.
— JUFJ (@jufj) March 19, 2018
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Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.