D.C. council member needs to do more than apologize

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By Mitzpeh staff
@Mitzpeh

(Image: District of Columbia/Wikimedia Commons)

Jews control the weather. At least, that’s what Washington, D.C. Councilmember Trayon White implied in a video he took last month.

“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 said. “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.”

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser reprimanded White, and others criticized him as well.

The people of the District of Columbia don’t tolerate hate or anti-Semitism in any way, shape or form, and I believe that the council member has to make that abundantly clear as well,” Bowser said at an unrelated news conference on Monday.

White apologized for the video, which was taken down from his Facebook page.  According to a video White later posted on his page, he didn’t realize his comments could be viewed as anti-Semitic or negative by the entire Jewish community.

Since then, he’s been under fire for other seemingly anti-Semitic actions. White donated to a Nation of Islam event in Chicago whose leader denounced Jews. In an interview with WUSA9, White explained his actions, saying that he does not always agree with the personal views of leaders, but he supported the Nation of Islam’s cause.

On April 20, he cut short a visit to the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. After being constantly under fire, it’s shocking that White would not pay more attention and respect in a place commemorating the tragic events of the Holocaust. He and his staff also seemed painfully ignorant of the horrors of the Holocaust.

When looking at a photo of a woman being marched down the street in Germany with a sign around her neck that said “I am a German girl and allowed myself to be defiled by a Jew,” White said the soldiers marching her through were protecting her. After White left, one of his aides reportedly asked whether the Warsaw Ghetto was like a “gated community.” Rabbi Batya Glazer of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington said it was more like a prison.

White said he left the museum because he felt uncomfortable with reporters documenting the trip. As an elected official, White should be used to a certain amount of media coverage — he can’t purport to be uneasy about cameras and notepads. In the following days, White addressed criticisms of his behaviors, saying that he is done apologizing and appreciates the plight of Jews throughout history.

It is not necessarily the position of this editorial board that White should step down or not be reelected. However, if White does not realize his position in the D.C. community and how he should relate to the public, it is likely he will not remain a councilmember come the next elections. People shouldn’t want an ignorant leader representing them in the government.

White’s term doesn’t end until January 2021. That means he has a lot of time to reshape his image – and he needs to. He took down his Facebook video, but that’s not enough. He apologized, but it’s not enough. Rather, he should continue to pursue an education in these matters so that he not only knows how to comport himself in the future but also understands the important historical implications of what Jews have been through.

For White to make such comments is ignorant at best and anti-Semitic at worst. If he continues to make these insensitive, unfounded comments and shrug them off in the manner he’s been doing, he should not expect to return to the council.

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