Arnel Pineda Claps Back At Racist – “I Won’t Stop Singing”
via Arnel Pineda / Youtube
The iconic rock band Journey has captivated audiences for decades, their music transcending borders and uniting fans worldwide. But for Filipino-American frontman Arnel Pineda, the journey hasn’t always been smooth.
Facing criticism and even racist attacks, Pineda has chosen not to back down. Instead, he’s using his voice to advocate for acceptance and understanding, demonstrating the power of music to bridge divides.
In a recent Instagram post, Pineda addressed his detractors head-on, his message echoing John Lennon’s timeless call for peace. He acknowledged the negativity he’s faced, from casual barbs to outright prejudice, yet his resolve remains unshaken. Singing, he declares, is not just a passion, it’s an essential part of his being.
But Pineda’s message goes beyond personal resilience. He speaks of a dream fulfilled, of the incredible opportunity to join a band he admired, a chance not sought for fame or fortune, but for the sheer love of music. This heartfelt declaration throws into stark contrast the ugliness of racism, revealing its absurdity against the unifying power of art.
“I won’t stop singing with or without Journey”
Through the IG post he wrote, Pineda isn’t letting hate silence his music. In a powerful message on Instagram, set against the backdrop of John Lennon’s “Love”, the frontman addressed his critics and detractors, including racists and bigots.
“Dear bashers, foes, racists, bigots, haters, warmongers…” Pineda began, acknowledging the negativity he’s faced. But his spirit remains unbroken. “No matter what or how you will name me,” he declared, “I won’t stop singing with or without Journey.” Music, he emphasized, is his lifeblood.
Pineda’s message wasn’t just about personal resilience. He spoke of a dream come true, the chance to join his idols in Journey, a privilege earned not for fame or fortune, but for his sheer love of music.
Pineda went on, “Yes, I want to be acknowledged with what I do best, but never, ever have I ever dreamed, nor have I ever desired so deeply to be a part of the band you love and respect so deeply… Call it fate? Call it destiny? Call it divine intervention? Or call it pure luck?”
“I am sorry that I caused you such unforgivable pain…”
In a surprising turn, Pineda’s message transcended mere defiance. He offered forgiveness, even to those who spewed hate.
“I am sorry that I caused you such unforgivable pain,” he wrote, echoing a sentiment not of blame but of empathy. He even extended an invitation to take the blame, a powerful act of de-escalation and understanding.
This wasn’t just about personal forgiveness. Pineda declared his unwavering belief in love, peace, and unity, expressing hope for a future where even his harshest critics could forgive him, just as he had forgiven them “16 years ago”. This timeframe hints at a past hurt, suggesting his empathy might stem from personal experience.
With the concluding lines, “Love is all. Love always wins,” Pineda offered a resounding message of hope. He didn’t shy away from acknowledging his “wounds,” but instead, proudly claimed them as “imperfect but beautiful scars”.
View this post on Instagram
“I’m not trying to compete with Mr. Perry”
Arnel Pineda’s rise to frontman of Journey wasn’t a smooth melody. Discovered singing covers on YouTube, he became the Asian face of an all-American band, facing resistance and racism from some diehard fans.
But Pineda refused to be intimidated. “I’m not trying to compete with Mr. [Steve] Perry,” he told Rolling Stone in 2013. “I’m trying to help out here.” He saw it as a privilege to carry the band’s legacy, transcending negativity with grace and determination.
Beyond the stage, Pineda became a Filipino national hero. While enduring racism abroad, his music resonated globally. He openly discussed facing racial discrimination during performances, highlighting the issue’s impact. Yet, Pineda didn’t let negativity define him. Instead, he chose to bridge divides, uniting audiences with his powerful voice and unwavering spirit.
Pineda’s story isn’t just about overcoming prejudice; it’s about harnessing the power of music to connect and inspire. His journey continues to unfold, and with it, the message that love and understanding can always trump hate.