You know you hit a nerve with people when they want to take back money donated during an online fundraiser.
John Mellencamp sparked this level of YouTube griping Saturday night, when he promoted the Black Lives Matter movement as part of the all-star Farm Aid concert.
The Indiana music icon performed “Easy Target,” a bleakly sarcastic song that refers to Black Americans as being “created equal, equally beneath me and you,” and he ended the tune by kneeling and raising his right fist.Variations of “Why bring politics to Farm Aid?” and “Can I rescind my donation?” scrolled by in the real-time comments posted during the online event.
To some, Mellencamp may defy expectations of what a classic rocker in a red state is supposed to be. But for anyone paying attention, he stayed true to his track record of opposing racial injustice.From showcasing an interracial couple in the 1987 video for his song “Cherry Bomb” to collaborating with Public Enemy rapper Chuck D in 2001, Mellencamp strives for equity and inclusion in his art.
Despite YouTube detractors, there’s no chance Mellencamp, who turns 69 next month, will back down from his “Crumblin’ Down” persona: “I’m the same old trouble you’ve been having for years.”
BLM shirts and pandemic masks
Because the coronavirus pandemic made this year’s Farm Aid an online streaming event, performers were allowed to get creative with their recorded performances. Neil Young, who co-founded the benefit for independent farmers with Willie Nelson and Mellencamp in 1985, sent in footage of chickens and ducks at his feet during renditions of “Homegrown” and “Everybody Knows This is Nowhere.”