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Why Is Bob Dylan Being Sued For Racism?

Why is Bob Dylan being sued for racism? The music legend is being sued by a Croatian community association over comments that he made in the French version of Rolling Stone about relations between Serbia and Croatia. The suit has been accepted on formal grounds, but still needs to be evaluated on its merits. It’s a particularly shocking case, though, because Dylan was widely regarded as a major part of the Civil Rights movement.

In the Rolling Stone story, Dylan spoke about racism in America. “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,” he 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 the Serbs can sense Croatian blood.”

Dylan’s comments about Serbs and Croats is in relation to the feud between majority Roman Catholic Croats and Christian Orthodox Serbs. Assailants have attacked bilingual signs in areas of Zagreb, Croatia’s main city, where Serbs make up one-third of the population.

The lawsuit filed by the Croatian community could potentially take up to 18 months to give a ruling on, possibly even longer because the musician isn’t a French citizen. If convicted, both Dylan and the magazine would face a fine and formal sanction. Dylan has yet to publicly comment on the Rolling Stone article about him or the lawsuit.

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