Neil Young says he thinks recent American presidents haven’t done enough to tackle climate change, adding “we are smart enough to screw everything up and we’re smart enough to fix everything.” (Nov. 7)
Young has been outspoken before about his disapproval of Trump’s use of his songs, but he’s previously written that he has no legal recourse to stop him. Now, the musician says he’s “reconsidering.”
“I am changing my mind about suing Donald Trump,” Young wrote online Monday. “I am looking at it again. There is a long history to consider and I originally considered it, deciding not to pursue.”
Young suggested his change of heart was inspired by Trump’s deployment of federal agents to curb civil unrest following the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died in the custody of Minneapolis police in May.
In his post, Young said Trump “ordered thugs in uniform onto our streets” and shared a video of federal agents using force against a man in Portland, Ore. In an interview, the man says he is a military veteran.
“Trump has no respect for our military,” Young wrote. “They are not to be used on the streets of America against law abiding citizens for a Political charade orchestrated by a challenged President.”
He continued by describing the officers as “thugs with no IDs shooting Americans on the streets.”
“They are not our police,” he wrote. “Our police should arrest these untrained thugs for breaking our laws. They have zero de-escalation training, a must have for the job they are mishandling, so they’re totally unqualified to be there.”
Young also criticized Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“When the states asked for help with Covid 19, the president did not give it,” he wrote. “He said he’s not responsible. When they said don’t bring military to our streets — we don’t need that, he did it anyway for his own political reasons — not for America. This rogue president is creating a much worse problem with his street thug army of uniformed hatred.”
As a result of these actions, Young says he might sue the president.
“Imagine what it feels like to hear ‘Rockin’ in the Free World’ after this president speaks, like it is his theme song,” he wrote. “I did not write it for that.”
On July 3, Trump spoke at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, where he condemned those attacking monuments across the country and announced he would sign an executive order to establish a “National Garden of American Heroes.”
During his appearance, the president played Young’s songs to the crowd.
“This is NOT ok with me,” Young wrote on Twitter at the time. “I stand in solidarity with the Lakota Sioux & this is NOT ok with me.”
Earlier this year, the Canadian-born artist announced that he became a citizen of the United States after having previously revealed that the 2020 election is what encouraged him to do so.
He said he wanted to “vote my conscience on Donald J. Trump and his fellow American candidates” because “we’ve got a climate emergency, and governments are not acting.”
“I’m still a Canadian; there’s nothing that can take that away from me,” he told the Los Angeles Times in October. “But I live down here; I pay taxes down here; my beautiful family is all down here – they’re all Americans, so I want to register my opinion.”
Shortly after becoming a citizen, Young penned a scathing open letter to Trump. The opening line: “You are a disgrace to my country.”
In the letter the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer criticized the president’s position on climate change.
“Your mindless destruction of our shared natural resources, our environment and our relationships with friends around the world is unforgivable,” Young wrote. “Your policies, decisions and short term thinking continue to exacerbate the Climate Crisis.”
Contributing: Rasha Ali
Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/celebrities/2020/07/27/neil-young-says-hes-reconsidering-decision-not-sue-donald-trump/5523699002/