December 8, 2020
My White Privileges
I grew up so white, I didn’t even notice the privileges I had over black people.

At age 15 or so my white friend and I hitchhiked to a music festival and slept in a random farm field. We got woken up by cops in the middle of the night. We got talked to. At age 18 I skidded a car off the highway and into the median at 70 mph. After midnight on my way home from a party. The cops came to the accident. I got talked to. They called my dad to come get me.

How many times have I been pulled over and NOT gotten a ticket. So many times. Honestly, I have actually shook my head and muttered these words to myself about a cop who just gave me a warning: “You should totally be writing me a ticket right now.”

How many times have I drank or smoked or peed in some “technically illegal” place and not worried one bit. The worst that might happen is that I would get talked to.

As a kid and young man – due to my personality – I did risky stuff even as a white person. If “this personality” had been black, I would be in prison or dead by now. No doubt in my mind about that. Given my shenanigans over the years, I’m lucky to avoid prison and death as a white person! I have gotten talked to and given a pass hundreds of times in my life.

Being white didn’t just keep me from getting arrested, it opened doors for me. Like all those times I have walked through a hotel lobby to use the restroom, as if a guest there, and maybe grabbed a cup of complementary coffee if I felt like it. Honestly, I have used hotel lobbies a LOT and once even used their limo service for a ride across town without being a guest. This is what privilege looks like.
Good Group Tips and Bob Dylan
Since 2004 I have written and emailed 163 Good Group Tips to subscribers. Each one is a page. They are on all aspects of group dynamics. You can read them all here.

Did you know that each Good Group Tip has a Bob Dylan lyric to go with it?

Every Tuesday morning my friend Brian Norris gets my Good Group Tip in his email and fires back a quote from a Bob Dylan song; something related to the Tip. Then I try to guess what song the quote is from. It’s a game we have been playing for years. Brian and I have been friends since UMaine.

For instance, here’s the last Tip I sent out: I Believe in Us. Brian wrote back, “Honey, just allow me one more chance to get along with you!”

Anyone know what Dylan tune that is from? I didn’t either. I usually don’t. I know Dylan pretty well but Brian is a scholar. Not only does he hit me with obscure quotes but he provides YouTube video links, reference citations, and personal stories of when he was in the crowd while that song played. Brian has seen Bob Dylan 150 times. While you have all been getting Good Group Tips, I have been getting a Bob Dylan education.

I stopped sending Good Group Tips a couple months ago; converted to Craig’s Weekly. Yet I just couldn’t lay down the Tips without telling you about Brian and the Dylan thing. Thanks for all the fun, Brian!

If anyone wants to know the Bob Dylan lyric that goes with any Good Group Tip, just let me know and I'll send it to you.
PS. If you need to know about “Honey, just allow me one more chance to get along with you!” this was Brian’s follow up after my failed attempts at guessing the song title: “That IS the title! Off his Freewheelin’ album (1963), where Bob actually gave credit to Henry Thomas‘ “Fishing Blues” for influencing the song!

Photo of Brian and his wife Kathryn.
The guy on the left knows more Bob Dylan than anyone I've ever known.
The gal on the right is pure sunshine.
To Help You Get Along
Written and published by Craig Freshley. Thanks for walking along with me.
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