Trayon White wants you to know he’s sorry, at least on third thought. The councilman for Washington DC’s Ward 8 posted a Facebook video of a brief snow flurry, along with his very strange and anti-Semitic thoughts on what it meant. And when first challenged on it, White initially told reporters that “the video says what it says.”
And man, did it ever (via Doug Mataconis):
A D.C. lawmaker responded to a brief snowfall Friday by publishing a video in which he espoused a conspiracy theory that Jewish financiers control the weather.
D.C. Council member Trayon White Sr. (D-Ward 8) posted the video to his official Facebook page at 7:21 a.m. as snow flurries were hitting the nation’s capital. The video, shot through the windshield of a car driving west on Interstate 695 through downtown Washington, shows snowy skies while White narrates.
“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. “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.”
It didn’t take long for White to reverse course after an outcry from Jewish groups. White credited his “friends” at Jews United for Justice for educating him on the “history of comments made against Jews”:
New: DC Council member Trayon White issues apology on Instagram after blaming snow on Jewish bankers controlling climate in earlier post. pic.twitter.com/AH6viLZDvc
— Van Applegate (@vbagate) March 19, 2018
Unlike Hillary Clinton’s “explanation,” White included an actual apology in his second attempt to deal with the situation. His allies immediately proclaimed the issue resolved, including fellow council member Brianne Nadeau, who is herself Jewish, who said she hoped White “learned from this experience[.]” Learned what, exactly? That Jews don’t control the weather and have formed a worldwide cabal to buy up all the cities to conduct a genocide? Who thinks like that in the first place, so much so that they would put out a video of a small and unremarkable snow flurry as evidence?
Better yet, as Doug Mataconis asks, who elects people like this?
Given the fact that this is the District of Columbia we’re talking about here, and that White is representing the same Ward of the city that Marion Barry was elected to even after his conviction on Federal drug charges and prison time, it’s hardly surprising to see some crazy nonsense coming out of his mouth. That being said, though, one does have to wonder what exactly is in the water over the 8th Ward that leads to someone like this representing its people on the City Council of the nation’s capital.
Does anyone really think White has learned to put aside anti-Semitism and paranoid conspiracy theories? Or just that he’s learned to keep them to himself?
By the way, the Washington Post adds on a little ersatz balance at the end of this to emphasize that Republicans are paranoid too:
The Republican Party’s 2012 platform embraced what had previously been fringe fears of a 1992 United Nations environmental accord known as Agenda 21, stating that it was “erosive of American sovereignty.” Assertions that the pact was cover for a global plot had become popular among tea party groups battling local, state and federal environmental regulations.
I’d completely forgotten about Agenda 21, and that’s at least a somewhat apt comparison. A few states spent several years or so debating whether to adopt anti-Agenda 21 laws, even though Agenda 21 itself was non-binding and never incorporated into a treaty. There has always been some legitimate apprehension over UN agreements infringing on American sovereignty, but the Agenda 21 angst did tip over at times into paranoia, and that paranoia did include elected officials — even if it mainly took place a generation ago.
That’s not at all true of the other “balancing” comparison, however:
Speculation that high-ranking Democratic Party officials, including former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, were involved in a child sex-trafficking ring run out of a D.C. restaurant led to the infamous “Pizzagate” episode in December 2016. A North Carolina man showed up with a Colt AR-15 military-style rifle and a .38-caliber Colt revolver at Comet Ping Pong, a pizza joint in Northwest Washington, saying he planned to investigate the allegations.
What that has to do with anti-Semitism or elected officials in engaging in paranoid conspiracy theories is anyone’s guess. Perhaps the Post needed a more recent factoid to water down the White story. Why not just report on one official’s disgusting and bigoted remarks as a story of its own?