Blinded by Sight: Seeing Race Through the Eyes of the Blind by Osagie Obasogie

By Osagie Obasogie

Colorblindness has turn into a vital part of the nationwide dialog on race in the United States. Given the assumptions at the back of this influential metaphor—that being ignorant of race will result in racial equality—it's curious that, before, we haven't thought of if or how the blind "see" race. so much sighted humans imagine that the answer's noticeable: they do not, and are accordingly incapable of racial bias—an instance that the sighted neighborhood should still possibly stick with. In Blinded by means of Sight,Osagie okay. Obasogie stocks a startling statement made in the course of discussions with humans from all walks of existence who've been blind due to the fact that delivery: even the blind should not colorblind—blind humans comprehend race visually, similar to all people else. Ask a blind individual what race is, and they'll probably discuss with visible cues corresponding to dermis colour. Obasogie unearths that, simply because blind humans take into consideration race visually, they orient their lives round those understandings when it comes to who they're buddies with, who they date, and masses more.

In Blinded by way of Sight, Obasogie argues that instead of being visually visible, either blind and sighted individuals are socialized to work out race specifically methods, even to some degree the place blind humans "see" race. So what does this suggest for the way we are living and the legislation that govern our society? Obasogie delves into those questions and uncovers how colour blindness in legislations, public coverage, and tradition won't lead us to any imagined racial utopia.

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Extra resources for Blinded by Sight: Seeing Race Through the Eyes of the Blind

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The meanings that we associate with racial groups, as well as which people are “in” and “out” of various groupings, is a sociological phenomenon linked to legal decisions, political motivations, economic dynamics, and historical contexts. Lastly, these racial meanings and boundaries themselves are unstable, varying across time and space. The racial boundaries of Whiteness were not the same in 1930 as they are today, and being Black in the United States may not be the same as being Black in parts of South America.

17 The close connection Darwin drew between human evolution and the ability to empirically document its different stages fueled a flame that had already been burning since the early nineteenth century: measuring racial differences. Scientists like Morton and his successors thought that if the races represented human evolution’s stages, measuring these differences would be absolutely crucial in giving these social observations scientific backing. ”18 The ascension of measurement to defining proper scientific thought reified the notion that observing the status quo leads to racial truth concerning groups’ inherent abilities, intensifying the scrutiny given to racial bodies as a predicate for postwar race relations.

My own work in this area has shown that race scholarship within the field (using the Law & Society Review as a proxy) is not nearly as progressive as its scholars might think. 66 This point is well taken. Critical Race Theory can provide an important context from which to think seriously about the relationship law has with race. More importantly, it can help us situate the role of law in structuring race as primarily a visual experience in terms of the rules and precedents that condition how we see race, what we see racially, and what race means.

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