Annie Lennox warns right-wing extremism in America has taken it to brink of fascism

Scottish singing star and human rights activist Annie Lennox has warned that a surge in right-wing extremism in the United States has taken the country to the verge of fascism.

Sunday, 18th October 2020, 1:22 pm
Updated Sunday, 18th October 2020, 10:28 pm
Annie Lennox pictured during her last live show in Scotland, at the Clyde Auditorium in Glasgow last year.
Annie Lennox pictured during her last live show in Scotland, at the Clyde Auditorium in Glasgow last year.

The Aberdeen-born singer-songwriter, who now lives in Los Angeles, has told of her dismay at how “incredibly divided” America has become just weeks before the Presidential election.

Speaking in an online discussion with the Indian activist and writer Satish Kumar, Lennox spoke of her fears over the denial of climate change and told how the coronavirus pandemic had forced her to rethink how many flights she would normally take around the world.

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She also revealed how her long-standing involvement in activist on issues such as feminism, human rights and the environment had taken a toll on her mentally, saying: “Anger can eat you up and truly destroy you.”

Annie Lennox is one of Scotland's most successful singer-songwriters of all-time.

Lennox was speaking just over a year after she hit out at the “madness and corruption” of the modern generation of political leaders during her first live event in Scotland for a decade.

Speaking during the online discussion, which was streamed on her Facebook page, Lennox spoke about the lack of process made in the United States to tackle the country’s race divisions.

She said: "So many things could have been done in terms of racial justice. The fact they haven’t really appals me.

"Living here, my eyes have been opened to many things. There is a sense of extreme right wing, to the point of almost fascistic sensibility, that is growing in this country.

Annie Lennox has combined her musical career with activism since the 1980s. Picture: Press Association

“It is very extremely divided between those who support this populist view and those who are against this hard-core perspective.”

Lennox suggested the “genie is out of the bottle” over the climate emergency.

However she added: "Hopefully we can pull back on the accelerated climate emergency. There are definitely things that could be done.

“I am living in California now and we are now smelling the toxic air here from the fires here. It’s something we are living with.

“Anyone who thinks that the climate emergency isn’t happening is living in a kind of flat earth conception. It is just simply happening, it is a fact and we shouldn’t even be talking about that. We are so beyond that.

“What worries me is that politicians here are so invested in self-interest and have no interest in the ecological crisis. At one point it is going to really, really tip.

“It is incredible that it took something like coronavirus to actually take the planes down from the sky.

"I have to hold my hands up and admit that I was on planes continuously. I was thinking: ‘How can I speak about ecology when I have actually been using this form of transport for years?’

"Now I am not going anywhere and I am grateful for this strange outcome. It's a terrible outcome, because hundreds of thousands of people have died and millions of people have been affected. That is the kind of climate emergency it takes for people to wake up.”

Lennox said she was “horrified” at the levels of “injustice, criminal neglect, abuse and exploitation” which still existed around the world.

She said: “Anger can eat you up and truly destroy you. You come to the point where you are so angry that you feel ill.”

Lennox added: “Activists have to cultivate an inner philosophy. I am sort of on the fence. I’m not really committed to any particular religion.

“But I constantly read and try to absorb teachings that sort of resonate with me to help me not tip down and cultivate peace within myself.

“If I don’t have that peace and I’m working from a place of anger or despair or frustration it’s a bit self-destructive.”

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