How much do we actually know and what does it mean to “know”. Whatever the definition of knowing is, there is a distinction and difference between the concept and the concept of “belief”. In fact, most of our understanding are beliefs that we have accepted without independently being able to prove or bare witness to it as fact. Religion is a good example of that which we believe,but cannot bare witness to because the creator did not give us the knowledge directly, but through the conduit of other humans, which opens the door for human sinful nature to potentially alter God's intentions.
In light of this, most of what we think we know, we actually only believe. Beliefs being things that we accept as true but cannot independently prove as such. Most things that we believe are primarily dependant upon whom we trust. Therefore, the people and institutions that have proved the most loyal in protecting our well being and survival are the primary sources of our trust and hence, the primary instruments of shaping our beliefs. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule.
Much of what we believe, therefore, is ingrained in us from an early age through the conduit of our parents, because we trust them so, and those who our parents say is ok for us to trust or from those who endear our trust through deeds. These teachings or information thus become ingrained beliefs in our subconscious, if not conscious, until we can bare witness to the invalidity of those beliefs, if our minds are open for revision…which they often are not. The thing about beliefs is that many are protected by investments of emotions, which compels people to hold onto them even against factual and logical contradictions of those beliefs.
Trust and faith is the root of all things that we believe and most things we think that we know, which cannot be independently proven or bared witness to. Information coming from individuals or institution that are not trusted, likely due to the history of their deeds impacting negatively upon a soul or people, will fail to inspire trust and faith and hence inspire disbelief and skepticism. Our beliefs, therefore, is simply linked to our survival biological directives through the conduit of trusting those have facilitated our survival.
One can obviously see, based upon what has been presented thus far, why the masses of black people often differ from whites. Take the proclamation from the President saying that Iraq has Weapons of mass destruction. The institution of the Presidency of the United States inspires much more trust to the white masses than to the black masses. The reason being is that the United States was the savior for white Europeans who fled other lands for a better life in America, which gave a premium and privilege to whites. Blacks on the other hand, have a quite different history, which includes their oppression by for at least 90% of the time their people have been in this land. Thus, there is a loss of trust and hence a loss of credulous.
If one understands that every action creates a reaction, then seeks to understand the various reactions to centuries of black oppression, the loss of trust of whites in general, should be an obvious one. Thus, when Southern whites, the most notorious white racist throughout this nations history, become republicans in the Dixicrats revolt to civil rights, the Republican party lost the trust of black people and hence, the belief in their platforms. They fact that some people have a problem understanding why the masses of black people vote democratic is a fact born from sheer ignorance of human nature and instincts for survival. Blacks fundamentally have a history of distrusting groups that have oppressed them. Yet, people expect blacks stick there hands in the same fire that burnt them in the past…which means that such critics have a low expectation of black pattern recognition skills and or intelligence.
Many people would like to pretend that history never manifested and that we can now all just move forward and forget the past. In fact, many white people actually adopt this as a strategy, so much so that that seem stunned when other people, mostly black, do not pretend along with them. They want for blacks to be able to trust whites and thus remove the stigma and stain upon white history. What they want is for white actions of the past to not have a negative reaction upon whites of the present, but mostly upon themselves personally. However, white of the past earned their distrust through their deeds, while whites of the present are not willing to offer deeds to earn black trust, as they are against all programs designed to undo the effects of white racism of the past.
Some white people are in such a state of make believe that they actually see blacks natural reaction to the history of white racism as being a cause of continued white racism. It is akin to stabbing someone then rationalize stabbing them again because they got blood on you or reacted with anger in return. They expect blacks to not only have no reaction, but to forgive and forget and when they find blacks who fail to do this, they become unsettled, angry and use these individual to rationalize why whites have problem with blacks.
In conclusion, most of what we think we know is actually only that which we believe. In turn, that which we believe is mainly the information that we have been given and have accepted by those whom we trust, by virtue of their positive contribution to our survival and needs. Given the history of America and the different histories and paths of the people in it, it will be a long time, if ever, before blacks will have the same beliefs as white people on a wide range of issues, due to a fundamental absence of the deeds of this nation to instill a trust equal to that which it has instilled in the white masses whom it have favored for centuries.