In an interview with Banner partner Nashville Post, at-large candidate Jonathan Williamson tried to distance himself from social media posts viewed as anti-Semitic and anti-immigrant.
During a Q&A with Post editor Stephen Elliott, Williamson was asked about a number of tweets he made in 2022:
- In the first, he quoted a tweet that asked “seems to be a lot of powerful people who run social media and banking. I wonder what’s going on.” He replied “Gews.”
- In a second, he tweeted “Gews and banks. Smh. This is America.”
- In a third, responding to an account called TheBlackChannel that asked “My question is what BENEFIT do we as Black NON-immigrants get from supporting immigrants?” Williamson replied, “None. Zero. Nann.”
“It’s not just Black and white anymore,” Williamson told the Post. “Not only was that statement wild and Twitter talk. That’s absolutely a no. It has to be done. We have to work together. There’s not enough room here to be divisive.”
On his tweets about Judaism and banking, Williamson gave a long, rambling answer that referenced Kyrie Irving, the NBA star who was suspended and apologized for posting links to an anti-Semitic movie.
“I would love to sit down with them,” he said. “I’m a Christian. I’m sure we all could sit down and discuss those things. The Jewish, Judaism, is different from the structure that a lot of people were upset with. The banks, for instance. The Federal Reserve. A lot of times, people get the two mixed up. They think it’s something that’s a dogma or something dark towards the people. Well, no. It’s the institution.You don’t leave a job because the company is bad. You leave because of management. The management of our bank systems and how that’s waged inappropriately. It’s a lot of systematic things that, unfortunately, they routed back during that time, the people blaming the Jews for. The Jews, that’s not their claim nor their shame. The system is what’s the problem. Not anything towards the people. Not anything towards a religion. It was just times when [Irving] got speared up over that documentary that was on Amazon, and people went crazy. I actually watched the documentary. It was a lot of back-and-forth over what’s the problem and who caused it. 300, 500 years ago, people didn’t cause that today. What’s happening today is institutional suppression, institutional racism. It’s not just a group of people.”
Williamson also talked about his anti-COVID vaccine stance.