When I was growing up, I thought America was the good guy. We were the country that did the right thing. Other countries wanted to be like us and people around the world wanted to move here, with millions doing just that. We were the good guys and like the good guys in the cowboy shows and movies I watched as a child, like Hopalong Cassidy and The Lone Ranger, the good guys rode a white horse.
Having been born in 1955, I grew up mostly in the 60’s and 70’s. I know there was turmoil during those decades because I watched the news with Walter Cronkite, Chet Huntley and David Brinkley. To me, though, the protests were about making America even better. The United States welcomed people from around the world to enjoy our freedoms and it didn’t matter what you looked like or what religion you were- you were welcome here. Race relations seemed better- we even made fun of racist attitudes when we watched Archie Bunker in the 80’s. The American dream, which to me began with growing up while balancing school and play before getting a job and beginning your own family, was alive and well. You and your spouse bought a house and had two or three kids and you probably also had a dog. This, after all, was the land of opportunity.
Of course, I knew that America wasn’t perfect. There were wars, poor neighborhoods, and problems between white people and black people. Still, America was “The White Horse”. We were the good guys. Weren’t we?