Not a sub-heading we write with alarming frequency: Bob Dylan has attracted the ire of The Council of Croats.
Speaking to Rolling Stone last year, Dylan was asked about the similarities between America in the 1860s and the present day. Unsurprisingly, his response dealt explicitly with the legacy of slavery, with Dylan suggesting in passing that there were some parallels between African-American and Serbian sensibilities:
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 colour. It’s a distraction. People at each other’s 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.
As Business Insider report, the final line of that extract has landed the singer in hot legal water. Both Dylan and Rolling Stone are being sued by France-based Croatian community group The Council of Croats, who claim that the remarks constitute “incitement to hatred”. Magazine and singer alike could face fines and sanctions should the suit be successful.
Vlatko Marić, secretary general of The Council of Croats, claims that one “cannot compare Croatian criminals to all Croats”, but also stresses to have “nothing against Rolling Stone magazine or Bob Dylan as a singer” despite bringing the charges. The suit has been green-lit on formal grounds, and is currently being assessed.
Last month, Columbia and Legacy Recordings released Bob Dylan Complete Album Collection Vol. One – an extensive package package including all 35 of the singer’s studio albums, running from 1962′s self-titled debut through to last year’s Tempest (and including 1973′s Dylan, which got its debut North American CD pressing). [via Billboard]