Culture Trips

Neil Young calls for empathy for Capitol attackers: ‘We are not enemies’ | Neil Young

Neil Young has called for empathy towards those who stormed the US Capitol building in Washington DC, arguing they had been “manipulated” into doing so.

In a message posted to his website, Young writes:

I feel empathy for the people who have been so manipulated and had their beliefs used as political weapons. I may be among them. I wish internet news was two-sided. Both sides represented on the same programs. Social media, at the hands of powerful people – influencers, amplifying lies and untruths, is crippling our belief system, turning us against one another. We are not enemies. We must find a way home.

The veteran rock star has long been critical of Donald Trump, and until recently was suing for using his songs during political rallies. In his new message, he again criticised the outgoing president, saying he “has betrayed the people, exaggerated and amplified the truth to foment hatred”, but said his feelings are now “beyond” Trump.

“Resentment of the Democratic party among the insurrectionists at the Capitol was rampant. We don’t need this hate,” he wrote. “We need discussion and solutions. Respect for one another’s beliefs. Not hatred … With social media, issues are turned to psychological weapons and used to gather hatred in support of one side or the other. This is what Donald J Trump has as his legacy.”

He also criticised the “double standard” that saw heavy crackdowns against Black Lives Matter protesters in Washington in 2020, and relatively light policing of last week’s Capitol breach.

During the 2020 presidential campaign, Young initially backed Bernie Sanders, but also voiced support for Joe Biden after he won the Democratic nomination, saying Biden would bring “compassion and empathy” back to the White House.

Last week, Young sold a 50% stake in his entire songwriting catalogue to the publishing company Hipgnosis for an undisclosed fee thought to be around $150m.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *