A member of the Washington, D.C. City Council blamed a Friday snow fall in the nation's capital on Jews, claiming they control the weather.
Trayon White Sr. (D.) was driving through Southwest D.C. when he filmed a video on Facebook of light snowflakes falling, and he then espoused his conspiracy theory, the Washington Post reports.
"Man, it just started snowing out of nowhere this morning, man. Y’all better pay attention to this climate control, man, this climate manipulation," White said. "And DC 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."
White's remarks reflect a growing number of reported anti-Semitic incidents in D.C. and the country, the Post reports:
The Rothschilds are a famous European business dynasty descended from Mayer Amschel Rothschild, an 18th-century Jewish banker who lived in what is today Frankfurt, Germany. The family has repeatedly been subject over the years to anti-Semitic conspiracy theories alleging that they and other Jews clandestinely manipulate world events for their advantage.
Rabbi Daniel Zemel of Temple Micah in Northwest Washington denounced White’s remarks, saying they contribute to a growing mood of intolerance in the United States.
"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," Zemel said. "We all have to be better. Public officials have to learn not to say the first ignorant thing that comes into their head."
The Anti-Defamation League reported last month that anti-Semitic incidents in the District more than doubled in 2017, compared with 2015. That follows a similar escalation nationwide.
When first contacted by the Post, White was surprised his statement was viewed as anti-Semitic. "The video says what it says," White said when asked for clarification.
Hours after the story was first published, White texted an apology.
"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," White said. "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 represents the same ward in D.C. that was once represented by Marion Barry.
Watch White's video: