Neil Young: ‘My Black Brothers and Sisters Have Suffered Enough’
Days after sharing a 2019 solo acoustic rendition of “Southern Man” and telling his fans that “it’s time for real change, new laws, new rules for policing,” Neil Young has written a lengthy opinion piece on his website titled “Hope” in which he elaborates on his feelings about this moment in American history.
“Have hope,” he writes. “I feel a change…We know black lives matter. My heart goes out to all our black families affected, so that’s all the black families through American history. I feel like we are turning a corner. All Together, all colors on the street. We know our mission is the right one for America and for mankind.”
“As an old white guy, I don’t feel threatened by my black brothers,” he continues. “I welcome him and his sisters. We have to deal with our white insecurities. I don’t feel any of those insecurities myself, (I have my own in other places). I will stand with my black brother. I want a better world for us all together. … My black brothers and sisters have suffered long enough.”
He then turns his attention to President Trump. Oddly enough, Trump is a fan of Young’s music and has seen him in concert several times. “He’s got something very special,” Trump told Rolling Stone in 2008. “I’ve listened to his music for years…His voice is perfect and haunting.”
During the 2016 campaign, Trump played Young’s 1989 song “Rockin’ in the Free World” at several rallies. He refused to stop despite Young’s numerous complaints, and he thinks no higher of him now that he’s actually president.
“I think our president is responsible for a lot of this unrest we feel today as he has fanned the flames and turned us against each other for his political reasons,” Young writes. “He is, in the end, just a poor leader who is building walls around our house. I believe he will be powerless soon and I wish him the best in his next life. That sorry man will not destroy the American dream. He can see his power slipping away with the support he is losing in his own party. It’s just the beginning of the end for him. I hope he and his family are safe through this transition.”
Young supported Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary and initially seemed skeptical of Joe Biden, but he’s come around to the former Vice President. “He will most likely be our new leader, bringing compassion and empathy back to the White House,” he writes. “May the Great Spirit be with you, Joe Biden. I hope his new vice president will be Stacey Abrams, but I will take whoever he chooses. Stacey is my favorite from a good group of candidates. May the great spirit be with Joe Biden on his choices.”
Young has spent the past few months quarantining at the Colorado home he shares with his wife, actress Daryl Hannah. Working together, they have created five Fireside Sessions concert videos packed with rare songs from throughout his long career. On June 19th, he’s releasing Homegrown 45 years after recording the album and shelving it because he felt the songs were too personal. It’s part of an ambitious series of archive releases he is planning over the next couple of years.