On Friday, a few snowflakes fell in Washington. It wasn’t particularly out of the ordinary for March, but one local councilman posted a video blaming the surprise weather on – you guessed it – the Jews.
“It’s climate manipulation,” said Trayon White, a councilman for DC Ward 8 in the now-deleted video. “DC keep talking about ‘We are 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.”
Referencing the Rothschilds, a wealthy Jewish family that established itself in banking in the 18th century, is a classic antisemitic trope. And blaming any one group for weather patterns is little short of unhinged.
After the controversy picked up steam, White deleted the post on Sunday night and posted an apology.
“I want to apologize to the Jewish community and anyone I have offended,” he wrote. “I did not intend to be antisemitic, and I see I should not have said that after learning from my colleagues. I have spoke [sic] to leaders and my friends at Jews United for Justice and they are helping me to understand the history of comments made against Jews, and I am committed to figuring out ways continue [sic] to be allies with them and others.”
Jews United for Justice, a local group whose goal is the pursuit of “justice and equality,” tweeted that it had spoken to White “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.”
White was subject to widespread mocking on Twitter for his initial video.
“Let’s try not to make this Ward 8 idiot councilman in DC famous because he’s a psychotic moron antisemite,” wrote John Podhoretz, the editor-in-chief of Commentary
“How does one accidentally accuse the Rothschilds of having a weather machine?” tweeted Matthew Gertz, a senior fellow at the Media Matters for America think tank.
Louis Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam preacher who has returned to headlines in recent weeks, has long blamed “Rothschilds” for controlling the US Federal Reserve and using it to spur on war. A handful of elected officials, as well as some organizers of the Women’s March, have faced criticism in recent weeks about their unwillingness to condemn Farrakhan, who has long espoused antisemitic beliefs.