Neil Young has shared a statement on the armed insurrection at the US Capitol carried out on January 6, saying he feels “empathy for the people who have been so manipulated”.
The post, entitled “A Message from Neil.”, begins with specific mention of a rioter known in the media as “Elizabeth from Knoxville”, who was filmed crying, saying she had been maced. As Stereogum points out, the veracity of the rioter’s claim has been called into question, due to the onion she was holding during the interview.
Young said he believed “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,” he wrote.
Young, a well-documented critic of outgoing US President Donald Trump, continued, blaming Trump for having “exaggerated and amplified the truth to foment hatred”.
“We need discussion and solutions. Respect for one another’s beliefs. Not hatred,” he said.
“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.”
In addition to Trump, Young also blamed “internet news” and social media for “crippling our belief system”.
“With Social media, issues are turned to psychological weapons and used to gather hatred in support of one side or the other.”
Young recently dropped his lawsuit against Trump’s presidential campaign over the unauthorised use of his music. The singer-songwriter voluntarily dismissed all claims against “Donal [sic] J. Trump for President, Inc. with prejudice, with each party to bear its own costs, fees, and expenses”. Dismissal with prejudice means the claim cannot be renewed at a later date.
The saga between the two parties began earlier this year, when Young voiced his disapproval on social media over Trump’s use of his music at presidential rallies. The singer then shared a damning open letter to Trump in early July but did not have plans to sue at the time.
Last week, Young sold 50% of the rights to his entire back catalogue in a landmark new deal.