A Croatian community organization in France is suing Bob Dylan for allegedly inciting racial hatred. The group, CRICCF, said that the singer crossed the line with remarks made in a Rolling Stone interview last year, the Guardian reports. Dylan was riffing on the history of racial animosity in the US when he uttered the offending remark:
- "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."
With "Croatian blood," Dylan was referring to the historic conflict between Christian Orthodox Serbs and Roman Catholic Croats, Business Insider reports. As recently as October, several Cyrillic and bilingual signs in Serb minority buildings were destroyed in the Croatian capital of Zagreb. But CRICCF still bristled at Dylan's remark, saying that "you cannot equate Croatian [war] criminals with all Croats." Now France has placed the singer under judicial investigation; such cases can take up to 18 months to complete and could result in a fine and formal sanction for Dylan and Rolling Stone.