Neil Young has shared his feelings about the violent storming of the Capitol building that took place last Wednesday, after outgoing President Donald Trump encouraged his followers to protest the election results certification.
Young has long been an outspoken critic of Trump, but in a note on his official website, he admits to feeling empathy for some of the people who took part in the incident after hearing them being interviewed.
“Sadness and compassion hit me…as I watched fellow Americans telling their stories,” he writes.
He continues, “A young lady in tears spoke of being maced in the [Capitol]. 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.”
Reflecting on what the protestors expressed, Young writes, “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.”
Neil also points out that he was disturbed to hear that some police officers took part in the insurrection, and notes that he “was shocked to see the Confederate flag being waved inside the chamber; the destruction and disrespect.”
He declares, “I feel empathy for the people who have been so manipulated and had their beliefs used as political weapons,” while noting that social media and internet news have helped “[turn] us against each other.”
Young ends his message by saying, “We are not enemies. We must find a way home.”
By Matt Friedlander
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.