Bob Dylan Skirts Hate Speech Charges; Rolling Stone Targeted Instead

Image: Bob Dylan Skirts Hate Speech Charges; Rolling Stone Targeted Instead

Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 10:22 AM

By Nick Sanchez

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A Paris court dropped the incitement to hatred charges against Bob Dylan Tuesday, instead setting its sights on Rolling Stone, the publisher of the comments comparing Croats to Nazis and the KKK.

Magistrate Marion Potier ruled that, during her five-month investigation, Dylan was found to have given the interview to the U.S. edition of the magazine without granting permission to the French edition, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Michel Birnbaum, the publisher of the French edition of Rolling Stone, will be prosecuted for running afoul of antidiscrimination laws, facing a maximum fine of €45,000 ($62,000) and up to a year in jail.

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The suit originally stemmed from a complaint filed by a Croatian organization in France, and prosecutors charged Dylan with "public insult and inciting hate."

Dylan's comments were made during an interview in which he spoke on 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. 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," the singer said.

Dylan likely brought up the Croats because he grew up in northern Minnesota, which is home to a large Croatian population.

Rolling Stone and Birnbaum's legal representation have declined to comment on the case.

After the case was dismissed, Dylan's lawyer, Thierry Marembert, said "I am very happy to see that French justice understood that Bob Dylan never wanted to insult anyone."

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