Trayon white donated to event where louis farrakhan bashed jews – the washington post

“The Brothers from the Nation are of the few men that show up to help . . . us address crime and social ills in Southeast. They also run a feeding program in several public housing communities in ward 8,” White wrote in a text message. “I’m a Christian but I support a lot of people and all religions who support my community.”

Campaign finance officials have given White until May 3 to explain the donation to the February event, where Farrakhan said Jews controlled the FBI and “were responsible for all of this filth and degenerate behavior that Hollywood is putting out turning men into women and women into men.” He said the government and “powerful Jews” were his enemies.

“To the people of Ward 8, who know too well how hard it is to rise up from bigotry, hate and dangerous stereotypes,” the statement said, “I ask that you understand how hurtful this has been, and that you, too, hold your council member accountable.”

The city’s inquiry comes as White has been trying to mend fences with the Jewish community after he claimed the Rothschilds — a European banking dynasty often at the center of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories — control the climate, the federal government and the World Bank.

After his comments were publicized in March, White said he did not realize he had offended Jews and committed himself to a better understanding of anti-Semitism. He embarked on an atonement tour that included a Passover Seder, a bagels-and-lox breakfast with Jewish leaders at the D.C. government building and a visit with a rabbi to the U.S. Holocaust Museum on Thursday — a visit he left abruptly.

Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld, who leads a modern Orthodox synagogue in the District, said White’s ties to the Nation of Islam reveal that his earlier comments regarding the Rothschilds were not a momentary error and that Jewish leaders should not have accepted his apologies so quickly.

“The Jewish community let him off easy because he never explained how he came to have these views. He has never denounced the people with whom he’s associated,” Herzfeld said. “Him giving that money to Farrakhan is basically endorsing the vicious anti-Semitism that we all heard.”

African American politicians and civil rights leaders have toed a careful line with Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam. Some in marginalized black communities have seen the group as a force for good and community improvement, but incendiary comments made by Farrakhan and other leaders have drawn widespread condemnation.

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) was dogged by past support for Farrakhan when he ascended to a leadership role in the Democratic National Committee. Tamika Mallory, co-president of the Women’s March, drew a firestorm after she attended this year’s Saviours’ Day event, where Farrakhan denounced Jews.

He eulogized former mayor Marion Barry in 2014 and sometimes speaks at Union Temple Baptist Church in Anacostia — where White is close to the pastor, Willie F. Wilson, and where the council member delivered his State of the Ward address last year.

Council member Elissa Silverman (I-At Large), the other Jewish member of the council and a critic of the Nation of Islam’s local influence, said she was disappointed by White’s donation but still had faith in his efforts to learn about anti-Semitism.