D.C. council member Trayon White Sr. has been pressured into apologising after suggesting that “Rothschilds” control the weather.
White wrote that “t just started snowing out of nowhere this morning, man. Y’all better pay attention to this climate control, man, this climate manipulation” before continuing to say “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”.
Rabbi Daniel Zemel of Temple Micah in Northwest Washington, responding to the comments, wrote “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. We all have to be better. Public officials have to learn not to say the first ignorant thing that comes into their head”.
The Rothschilds are a family of Jewish financiers who often feature in antisemitic conspiracy theories, which attribute to them an unrealistic, and sometimes near-comical, amount of influence. Despite the ridiculous nature of many of these Rothschild family conspiracy theories, they are often near-identical to conspiracy theories that explicitly claim that Jews as a collective wield such power. As is clear from White’s comments, whilst the claims about the Rothschilds are often ridiculous and seem comical, they are not trifling, harmless ideas that should be written off as silly and humourous; White clearly attributes real malice to the Rothschilds, who want to harm others for their own gain. Such attitudes are far from harmless, and form a part of a culture in which Jews are blamed for all of society’s woes.
White thankfully quickly apologised for the comments, writing “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. 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 appears to have been contacted by Jews United for Justice, claiming that the had helped him to “understand the history of comments made against Jews”.
White’s comments indicate that he has engaged in genuine dialogue with Jews United for Justice and is showing genuine remorse for having propagated these ideas, stating that he is “committed” to finding ways “to be allies with them and others”.