Bob Dylan investigated on hate crime charges in France

Bob Dylan investigated on hate crime charges in France

The French government are investigating Bob Dylan in relation to remarks he made in Rolling Stone last year after a formal compliant from a Croatian community organisation claiming that his remarks about Croatians constitute an incitement to racial hatred. The organization, CRICCF, have confirmed that a Parisian court will be hearing the case and that Dylan's presence at the hearing will be requested.

The controversy centres around remarks Dylan made in an August 2012 interview with Rolling Stone. In it he was explaining why he felt that racism was holding America back even in the 21st century;

'This country is just too f***** up about colour. It's a distraction. People at each others' throats just because they are of a different colour. It's the height of insanity, and it will hold any nation back - or any neighbourhood 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.'

It was that last sentence that provoked the ire of Croatians living in France leading to the complaint that publishing the comments in the French version of the magazine violated the strict French laws on racial hatred.

Even so, in his statement Maric was quick to point out that he had nothing personally against Bob Dylan, saying; '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.' Dylan was also awarded the prestigious Legion d'Honneur in Paris last month with Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti proclaiming that he embodied a 'subversive cultural force that can change people and the world'.

Whatever the French actually think about Bob Dylan it is standard practice for all complaints of this nature to be formally investigated.

Watch Bob Dylan Love Sick live in Paris November 2013

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