A Croatian organization based in France is suing Bob Dylan, alleging that the iconic singer-songwriter incited hatred by likening Croatians to the Nazis.
Slate.fr reported that the Representative Council of Croat Institutions of France (CRICCF) filed a complaint against Dylan and the French Rolling Stone, alleging “insult” and “incitement to hatred” for Dylan’s comments, printed in the magazine in September, 2012:
Do you see any parallels between the 1860s and present-day America?
Mmm, I don’t know how to put it. It’s like . . . the United States burned and destroyed itself for the sake of slavery. The USA wouldn’t give it up. It had to be grinded out. The whole system had to be ripped out with force. A lot of killing. What, like, 500,000 people? A lot of destruction to end slavery. And that’s what it really was all about.
This country is just too fucked up about color. It’s a distraction. People at each other’s throats just because they are of a different color. It’s the height of insanity, and it will hold any nation back – or any neighborhood back. Or any anything back. Blacks know that some whites didn’t want to give up slavery – that if they had their way, they would still be under the yoke, and they can’t pretend they don’t know that. If you got a slave master or Klan in your blood, blacks can sense that. That stuff lingers to this day. Just like Jews can sense Nazi blood and the Serbs can sense Croatian blood.
According to Reuters, a formal investigation is underway in Paris, as “[i]n France, racism complaints automatically trigger formal investigations, irrespective of the merits of the case.”
“We have nothing against Rolling Stone magazine or Bob Dylan as a singer,” said Vlatko Maric, the representative of Council of Croatian Community in France, The Guardian reports. “[But] you cannot equate Croatian [war] criminals with all Croats.”
Dylan is perhaps best known for his protest songs in the 1960s — for instance “When The Ship Comes In,” “Blowin’ In The Wind,” and “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall” — many of which expressed support for the Civil Rights movement and opposition to the Vietnam War.
Just recently, Dylan received France’s Legion of Honour, the highest possible decoration in the country.
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