Trayon White Sr., a Democratic councilman in Washington D.C.’s 8th Ward, has apologized for saying that the snowfall that occurred on his Friday morning commute was the work of the Rothschild family’s weather control system. Rothschild-centric conspiracy theories have often served as wink-wink stand-ins for complaints about secretive cabals of Jewish financiers.
White made the comments in a Facebook Live video that he published on Friday morning. “Man, it just started snowing out of nowhere this morning, man. Y’all better pay attention to this climate control, man, this climate manipulation,” he says in the video. “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.”
“Resilient city” is a reference to the Rockefeller Foundation’s Resilient Cities Initiative, a grant program that incentivizes cities address economic and environmental issues in their areas. It’s also the focus of some pretty developed conspiracy theories, which, if you’ve got a few hours to burn and you’re confident in your ability to not get convinced of anything, I’d highly recommend checking on out YouTube. If purposeful climate change and intentional storms are your thing, this is right up your alley.
White, for his part, apologized on Sunday. “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,” he told the Washington Post. “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.” He also gotten cover from Jews United for Justice, a progressive organization in the D.C./Baltimore region.
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
White also received the all-clear from Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau. “He reiterated, ‘that’s not who I am, and that’s not what I’m about,’” Nadeau wrote in a post on her Facebook page. “I believe he is being truthful when he says he didn’t realize what his statement implied.”
“That said,” Nadeau continued, “as a Jewish leader I know how scary these times are, with anti-semitism and white supremacy on the rise across our country, stoked by the hateful words and actions of our own President. It’s all the more important that our leaders across the country focus on eradicating hate and bigotry in all forms, and not make them worse, purposefully or unwittingly.”
White, the youngest member of D.C.’s 13-seat council, has apparently made similar comments in the past. According to the Washington City Paper:
At a February working breakfast between the D.C. Council and Mayor Muriel Bowser, he asked the Bowser administration about links between the Rothschilds, the Rockefellers, the World Bank, and D.C.’s recently created Office of Resilience, according to a District official who was present.
Anyway, it’s pretty standard fare here. A U.S. government official retracted something anti-Semitic, but, at the least, believes that the weather can be controlled by a single enterprising family. Happy Monday.
Jesse Bernstein is a former Intern at Tablet.