The Washington Times-Herald

Columns

December 7, 2013

The times they are a-changin'

Quick quiz — When you think about racist hate speech what are the first five names you come up with?

Was one of them Bob Dylan? I’ll bet not, however, you would be wrong.

Earlier this week, Dylan was charged by the French Government with “hate speech.” French authorities have filed preliminary charges against Bob Dylan over a 2012 magazine interview in which he is quoted comparing Croatians to Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan. The charges of “public insult and inciting hate” were filed against the musician in mid-November.

Excuse me? The real Bob Dylan or is this some Orwellian pun off the Onion’s website. Sadly, it is true.

Holy 1984, Batman, could it be true that a man whose music served as the soundtrack for the Civil Rights movement and whose guitar was inscribed with the slogan “This machine kills fascism” could actually be a “hater.”

Probably not, but it does represent an alarming European trend that scares me to death.

It is punitive political correctness, a case of the PC police being armed and dangerous and ready to kick down your door with “non-hateful” jackboots. One doesn’t have to BE a racist, they just have to TALK about it.

Dylan, one of the biggest proponents of free speech in the 1960s, is now learning that even when one is trying to have an adult conversation about race relations, every word one speaks will be examined, analyzed and eventually handed over to Big Brother to be used as political ammunition by which ever side is shooting.

I think there are several factors at play here and “hate speak” is not one of them.

Dylan was giving an opinion that was backed with generalities — he never once specified “all Croatians” or “all Serbians.” Secondly, both the offended Croatians and the French prosecutors seem to have a case of selective memory. During World War II, there WAS a group of Nazi-backed Croatians who did engage in genocide against the Serbs, however during the more recent struggles in the Balkans, there was enough ethnic cleansing going on to elect Mr. Clean as prime minister of Yugoslavia. There were war criminals from Croatia, Slovenia and Serbia and blame to share across the globe.

Text Only
Columns
  • Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat Cheating has been part of college athletics probably for as long as people have bothered to keep score.Sometimes it could be as simple as a C-note handshake or a little cash slipped into a player’s socks outside his locker with a note telling him to

    July 25, 2014

  • Letter: Sex is clearly defined Sex is clearly definedEditor:I say “Amen” to Pastor Showers’ letter to the editor. Sex in its pureness is only between one man and woman in the bonds of marriage, till death do they part. No others on the side.Man lying with man, woman lying with wom

    July 18, 2014

  • Hobby Lobby court ruling a right one for religious freedom The Supreme Court recently issued a ruling that marked an important development in the ongoing national debate on religious freedom.In a 5-4 decision, the Court ruled that the contraception coverage mandate, imposed by the Obama Administration under

    July 17, 2014

  • Good work DCH for helping vets Good work DCH for helping vetsEditor:On behalf of the veteran organizations of Daviess County, we wish to take this opportunity to recognize Daviess Community Hospital’s CEO David Bixler for the representation of our community hospital and the servic

    July 17, 2014

  • I am proud to fight against the 'War on Coal I recently signed on as an original cosponsor to a bipartisan bill led by one of my Democrat colleagues from West Virginia that would stop the newly released Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations on existing coal-generated power plants.He

    July 16, 2014

  • EPA regulations are very bad for District 63 The coal industry has played an integral role in our nation’s history, and District 63 is very close to the heart of it all. Information on the Institute of Energy Research’s website reveals that from a global standpoint, the United States has the la

    July 16, 2014

  • Update from Veale Creek Players Update from Veale Creek PlayersEditor:Veale Creek Players just finished the second week of the children’s summer camp with a pizza cast party. All parents and friends of our future actors/actresses were invited and enjoyed being part of the Veale Cre

    July 16, 2014

  • James bears the weight of Cleveland's championship dreams LeBron James has done it all on a basketball court. He’s a great scorer, rugged defender, proven big-play leader and champion. But that might not be enough in Cleveland, where he’ll also need the powers of Merlin the Magician.In returning to his home

    July 16, 2014

  • Say yes to the dress (at least at some point) Next month, the beloved boyfriend and I will celebrate two years of togetherness. For me, this is a huge milestone and for him, well, I guess this illustrates how patient and tolerant of my quirks he is (or maybe that’s the other way around. Remember

    July 12, 2014

  • Moving towards a better tomorrow This past week a federal judge ruled Indiana’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional, but in Daviess County there were no wedding bells ringing for same-sex couples. Despite receiving an email from the Indiana Attorney General’s office advising coun

    July 5, 2014