A Croatian community association in France is suing Bob Dylan over alleged racism.
The Council of Croats is taking offense to Dylan’s 2012 Rolling Stone interview, and has filed a lawsuit against the musician and the magazine.
In the interview, Dylan was asked about parallels between the 1860s and present-day America. He responded:
“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.”
Council of Croats secretary general Vlatko Marić said: “It is an incitement to hatred. You cannot compare Croatian criminals to all Croats. But we have nothing against Rolling Stone magazine or Bob Dylan as a singer.”
If found guilty, Dylan and Rolling Stone face potential fines and formal sanctions.
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