Neil Young called for “empathy” for the Capitol raiders

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Neil Young

Empathy. That’s what the musician asked Neil Young to society regarding the citizens who stormed the United States Capitol in Washington, DC, last week.

For the Canadian composer, the criticisms made of the robbers on the Capitol are a mistake, because they reinforce Donald Trump’s main objective: to polarize the country.

For the former leader of Buffallo SpringfieldThese people are victims of this doctrine, they have been manipulated, and it was considered that only through empathy can reconciliation be achieved.

I feel empathy for people who have been so manipulated and whose beliefs have been used as political weapons. I can be among them. I wish Internet news had two faces. Both sides represented in the same programs. Social media, in the hands of powerful, influential people, who amplify lies and falsehoods, are paralyzing our belief system, turning us against each other. We are not enemies. We must find a way home, ”he wrote on his website.

Pro-Trump groups storm the Capitol in Washington (Jason Andrew / The New York Times)
Pro-Trump groups storm the Capitol in Washington (Jason Andrew / The New York Times)

Young has been a staunch critic of Trump throughout his tenure. The main confrontation came from Trump’s political use of his songs during a series of rallies. The artist sued the then president, but the case was dismissed by justice. So, he readjusted his theme Looking for a Leader (from their 2006 album Living With War) to ridicule him.

In addition, in his new message, he assured that Trump “has betrayed the people, exaggerated and amplified the truth to promote hatred.”

“Resentment toward the Democratic Party among the insurgents on Capitol Hill was rampant. We don’t need this hatred, “he wrote. “We need discussion and solutions. Respect for the beliefs of others. I don’t hate… With social media, problems become psychological weapons and are used to accumulate hate in support of one side or the other. This is what Donald J. Trump has as a legacy. “

In his statement, he also notes that “some of the people who stormed the Capitol were policemen, and they were given a peaceful entrance by showing their insignia. I was surprised to see the Confederate flag waving inside the chamber, the destruction and the lack of respect. But above all I felt bad for the people ”.

A supporter of Donald Trump, identified as Richard Barnett, sits at the desk of the Speaker of the Lower House, Nancy Pelosi, after storming the US Capitol during protests on January 6, in Washington (United States).  EFE / JIM LO SCALZO
A supporter of Donald Trump, identified as Richard Barnett, sits at the desk of the Speaker of the Lower House, Nancy Pelosi, after storming the US Capitol during protests on January 6, in Washington (United States). EFE / JIM LO SCALZO

He also criticized the “double standard” that he saw among the heavy crackdowns on Black Lives Matter protesters in Washington in 2020, regarding how security forces acted during the Democratic outrage on Capitol Hill: “There is no place here for White Supremacy. People need each other to be truly free. Hate will never find freedom ”.

During the 2020 presidential campaign, Young initially endorsed Bernie Sanders, but also expressed his support for Joe Biden after he won the Democratic nomination, saying that Biden would return “compassion and empathy” to the White House.

The letter appears after the dismissal of the musician Ariel Pink of his record company for having attended the demonstration, which has generated a strong debate in the world of music about whether it is legal to marginalize an artist for his ideas.

Last week, Young sold a 50% stake in its entire songwriting catalog to publisher Hipgnosis for an undisclosed fee believed to be around $ 150 million.

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Ben Oakley
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