While sitting in the Delta lounge in the Atlanta airport waiting for my flight back to Washington, a white gentleman approached me and struck up a conversation.
Politics was on his mind, and seeing me, a black woman, he was sure that he had found a kindred spirit to share his hopes that Democrats will prevail in both U.S. Senate runoff races in Georgia.
I politely straightened him out, leaving him a bit in shock that he had incorrectly assumed that seeing the outside of me was sufficient information to know what is going on inside of me.
There is a word for this: stereotyping.
Is this gentleman a bad man? I don't know.
But he is proof of the horrible success of the perception of racism industry that has been damaging our country since the 1960s. The result is today's identity politics, diversity politics and all the politics of the left that promote the notion that what is relevant is the outside of a person, what he or she looks like, not what is going on inside the person.
With all the screaming about racism, a huge story of recent months hardly received any attention. Maybe because it doesn't fit into the story that our left-wing media want to report about what they call racism.
Several months ago, the Census Bureau issued its annual report called "Income and Poverty in the United States: 2019."
According to the report, real median black household income in 2019 was up 7.9 percent -- the largest annual increase in median black household income in history. This put the increase in black household income in 2019 1.1 points higher than the 6.8 percent increase for the nation as a whole.
Further, for the first time ever, the percentage of high-income black households exceeded the percentage of low-income black households.
In 2019, 29.4 percent of black households had income of $75,000 or more, compared with 28.7 percent of black households that had income of $25,000 or less.
In 1967, per the Census Bureau, 9.1 percent of black households had income of $75,000 or more, and 44.5 percent of black households had income of $25,000 or less.
Contrary to what blares out daily from liberal media, African Americans are not getting a raw deal in our country. In fact, as this new data from the Census Bureau shows, African Americans are systematically getting ahead and improving their lives.
One area of enormous improvement is in education achievement, which no doubt is a major factor in the improvement in income of black households.
According to the Census Bureau, in 2019, the black high school completion rate was 98 percent of the national average. Back in 1980, it was about 75 percent.
In 2019, 29.6 percent of blacks ages 25 and above completed four years of college. In 1980, this stood at 11.6 percent.
The rejoinder from the left is yes, but black average incomes still lag behind white average incomes.
My answer is that what drives human achievement is the same for everyone. It comes from lofty goals and a sense of each individual that it is up to them, their character and hard work to achieve those goals.
Teaching black children that they are living in a racist country and that they have no chance without government intervention, without diversity politics, without receiving special treatment because of their race destroys that child's sense of humanity, personal uniqueness and personal responsibility.
We have two competing cultures in America today. One culture says that life is, by nature, hard and that achievement comes from diligence, good character and struggle. The other culture says that life is only hard if it is unfair, and that life can be made fair and easy through politics.
The latter is the culture of the left, which damages the very individuals it pretends to help.
If we want to build a more perfect union, believe that every person is unique and that what people look like tells you nothing about who they are.
Star Parker is president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education and host of the new weekly news talk show "Cure America with Star Parker."