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Bob Dylan Charged in France

Updated on December 5, 2013
Dylan receiving France's highest medal
Dylan receiving France's highest medal
Dylan in 1965
Dylan in 1965
Dylan in Paris 2013
Dylan in Paris 2013

I suppose, in this politically correct world we live in, where everyone is overly sensitive about this or that, Bob Dylan could have said it nicer. But, Dylan is not from this generation. He always used provocative terms to incite and draw comparisons to his lyrics. He seldom minced his words and he was just accepted.If you didn't like it, leave or don't listen. One would think it is Dylan's freedom of speech, maybe not.

Just three weeks ago, France awarded the singer the highest cultural award in that country. Now, he is facing criminal charges for violating anti-discrimination French laws. Oh, this was not a recent violation, it was something he said in an interview for a magazine in 2012! Is there no Statute of Limitations? Where were the French prosecutors then?

Dylan is charged with inciting hate and public insult. The 72-yr. old singer is the object of a Croatian organization's complaint stating the interview promoted ethnic hatred. The Croatian World Congress is behind the criminal complaint.

This is what Dylan said, "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 Serbs can sense Croatian blood".

Dylan was trying to say that any prejudices learned as kids continues to live and comes to surface as they become adults. Like a cat and dog, both sense one another. Just like a person sense when a person is a racist at their core by how they act or talk. Humans have the innate ability to detect many feelings.

All Dylan has to do now is make a formal apology. If not, he will be fined thousands of dollars. Croats and Serbs were bitter enemies in Yugoslavia in the 1990's. Many fell to atrocities under the extermination the Serbs did to Croats.

Dylan has no comment about this complaint, but the "Times are a changing".


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    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 4 years ago from California

      We were watching YouTube videos of Live Aid concerts tonight and were wondering how old Dylan was. Thanks for the information.

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 4 years ago

      Yes, there have been several movies depicting that hatred, which many outsiders simply did not understand. Still, absent the emotion, it was clear what Dylan was saying.

    • jtrader profile image

      jtrader 4 years ago

      Indeed Dahoglund, especially when those who make a living using words actually speak accurately on what is happening. All of us who were witnesses to the killings on the news and the resulting changes on the map when Croatians and Serbs were in conflict witnessed a lot of hate.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      It must be hard for anyone making a living using words. The world could do without thought police.

    • jtrader profile image

      jtrader 4 years ago

      Hm, it seems that the Serbs and Croatians need to look back at their history and address the deep chasm between them. I understand exactly what he was saying. People who have targeted ethnic groups and caused pain need to apologize and make reparations.