The French authorities have been investigating Bob Dylan for
offending the country’s Croats. The issue is an interview the
singer gave to Rolling Stone last year, in which he
said that “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.”
So when Dylan came to France last month to receive the Legion of
Honor, he received something else as well. The AFP
Bob Dylan has been charged with
incitement to hatred in France after he was quoted comparing Croats
with Nazis in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, a judicial
source said Monday.
The world-famous American singer was questioned and charged last
month while on a visit to Paris during which he gave several
concerts and was awarded the Legion d’Honneur, one of France’s top
honours, the source said….
The charge came after the Council of Croats in France (CRICCF)
filed a complaint about the comments.
French media law bars incitement to “discrimination, hatred or
violence with regard to a person or group of people on the grounds
of their origin or of their membership or non-membership of an
ethnic group, a nation, a race, or a religion”.
The AFP piece adds that “Croatians are highly sensitive when
mentioned in a Nazi-related context.” This is the sort of absurdity
that hate-speech laws can lead to: A clumsily phrased reference to
a country’s history of
Serb-killing and collaboration with the Nazis can get you
questioned by the authorities, because it might “incite”
from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/03/day-of-the-locusts