The 72-year-old folk-rock icon, who was awarded the French Legion of Honor earlier this month, was discussing America’s history with slavery when he made a comment that has reportedly riled up a Croatian community group…
“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 f–ked-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.”
Well, what Dylan doesn’t mention is the Serbs are the minority Christian Orthodox and the Croats are Roman Catholic, as well as the presence of Bosnian Muslims who also stick to their own. The war was religiously aligned and can’t be blamed on racism or genocide. It can be divided into separatist or nationalist ideologies but that closely follows their religious hierarchies. They all wanted homogeneity based on ethnicity which means religion here. A nasty long set of civil, or international, wars that only emphasizes how twisted religious solidarity can become.
Amid lingering memories of the Croatian War of Independence that lasted from 1991 to 1995, the France-based Croatian community group in question has brought a lawsuit after finding Dylan’s comments unsettling.
Europe’s free-speech laws are stricter than those in the U.S., and the suit will move on to the next stages. Slate reports that it could take up to 18 months to settle, and if Dylan is found guilty, he may face a fine and formal sanction.
I suppose Dylan could be sued for libel here but it really was genocidal in that Serbs were reduced from 12% to 4%. It is a Croat community group that is suing.
Wonder what would happen if Dylan said Obama is hated because he’s black. Oh wait, it’s not because he’s black, it’s because he couldn’t be effective with so much residual hate. Further that blacks who voted for him because he was black are racists. Which seems good enough reason to me, considering the US hasn’t recovered from Confederate pride. Hell, I’d vote for a president if they just said they believed in evolution.
Jim Newman, bright and well