A Washington, D.C. Democratic lawmaker is apologizing after posting a video in which he blamed late-winter snow on Jewish bankers.
“Man, it just started snowing out of nowhere this morning, man. Y’all better pay attention to this climate control, man, this climate manipulation,” Trayon White Sr., who sits on the city council, said 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.”
The Rothschilds, a wealthy banking family, has been the subject of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories for generations, and White seems to have mentioned them at least once before:
The Facebook clip was deleted after coming under criticism.
“This kind of anti-Semitism is unacceptable in any public official,” Rabbi Daniel Zemel told The Washington Post. “This so diminishes what America is about and adds to the oppressive feeling going on in the country right now.”
The Anti-Defamation League reported last month that anti-Semitic incidents rose by nearly 60 percent in 2017, with 1,986 reported during over course of the year.
White later apologized on social media.
“I want to apologize to the Jewish Community and anyone I have offended,” he wrote. “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 also said he reached out to Jews United for Justice.
“They are helping me to understand the history of comments made against Jews and I am committed to figuring out ways continue to be allies with them and others,” he wrote.
The organization acknowledged speaking with White:
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
At least one of his fellow lawmakers appears ready to forgive him.
“I believe he is being truthful when he says he didn’t realize what his statement implied,” Councilwoman Brianne K. Nadeau told radio station WTOP. “It is my sincere hope that my colleague has learned from this experience.”
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost.