Published Jan 11, 2021In response to the far-right's violent attack at the U.S. Capitol last week, Neil Young has shared a statement titled "A Message from Neil" to his NYA website, through which he has expressed sadness over America's gravely divided political spectrum and the country's response to the protest.
A vocal critic of President Donald Trump, Young said he "was devastated to see the double standard" last Wednesday (January 6). "The way people were treated in the BLM demonstrations recently, compared to the other day," he wrote. "There is no place here for White Supremacy."
Young also boosted his plea for "empathy for the people who have been so manipulated and had their beliefs used as political weapons," criticizing social media for turning political issues into "psychological weapons and used to gather hatred in support of one side or the other."
His statements have shown a marked turn from his usual diatribes about Trump and Facebook, and offer a surprisingly empathetic approach in discussing the president's followers, whom he usually denounces.
Read his full post below.
Sadness and compassion hit me last night as I watched fellow Americans telling their stories
A young lady in tears spoke of being maced in the Capital [sic]. She was crying because she had been attacked and all she was doing was trying to have her voice heard in the Revolution. She was one of thousands who have been carrying the feeling of being persecuted for their beliefs, their feeling that American power just didn't care.
This, to me is beyond my own feelings that our president has betrayed the people, exaggerated and amplified the truth to foment hatred. Resentment of the Democratic party among the insurrectionists at the Capitol was rampant. We don't need this hate. We need discussion and solutions. Respect for one another's beliefs. Not hatred.
I was devastated to see the double standard. The way people were treated in the BLM demonstrations recently, compared to the other day. There is no place here for White Supremacy. People need each other to be truly free. Hatred will never find Freedom.
I learned that some of the people storming the Capitol were police themselves, and gained peaceful entry by showing their badges. I was shocked to see the Confederate flag being waved inside the chamber; the destruction and disrespect. But mostly I felt bad for the people. 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.
I still have my strong beliefs. That has not changed. But now 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.