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

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By Osagie Obasogie

Colorblindness has develop into an essential component of the nationwide dialog on race in the USA. Given the assumptions in the back of this influential metaphor—that being unaware of race will bring about racial equality—it's curious that, before, we haven't thought of if or how the blind "see" race. such a lot sighted humans think that the answer's visible: they do not, and are hence incapable of racial bias—an instance that the sighted neighborhood may still possibly keep on with. In Blinded through Sight,Osagie okay. Obasogie stocks a startling commentary made in the course of discussions with humans from all walks of lifestyles who've been blind considering that delivery: even the blind aren't colorblind—blind humans comprehend race visually, similar to each person else. Ask a blind individual what race is, and they're going to most likely confer with visible cues akin to dermis colour. Obasogie unearths that, simply because blind humans take into consideration race visually, they orient their lives round those understandings by way of who they're neighbors with, who they date, and lots more and plenty more.

In Blinded by means of Sight, Obasogie argues that instead of being visually noticeable, either blind and sighted individuals are socialized to determine 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 legislation, public coverage, and tradition won't lead us to any imagined racial utopia.

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

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Typical” Japanese body as depicted in Life magazine, December 1941. © Bettmann/CORBIS. the social processes—such as the politics of war—leading to the creation of social meanings, their attachment to bodies deemed racially different, and the subtle dynamics leading these meanings and attachments to be rearticulated as a natural, inherent, and timeless group traits. But the Life magazine images bring another dimension of racialization to the forefront: the extent to which constructed meanings are assumed to be both essential to racial difference and visually obvious at the very same time that these ostensibly self-evident traits require meticulous policing, training, and visual instruction in order for differences to become publicly visible in a presumptively consistent and coherent manner.

Thus, what will become apparent throughout this book is that sighted people are in a sense blinded by their sight: their visual perception prevents them from “seeing” the social practices that produce the saliency and coherency of their visual understanding of race. And, as will be discussed in the second part of the book, there can be serious legal and policy implications when society orders its understandings of race around the idea that its significance stems from its visually obvious character.

Vestiges of Pearl Harbor as an example of the social construction of race and ethnicity persist to this very day. ”2 But while the attack on Pearl Harbor shifted and intensified the social meaning of being Japanese among Americans, there remained one broader issue: if Japanese people ostensibly constitute an inherently duplicitous subgroup, how does one distinguish them from other Asian populations? Much like reported incidents of post-9/11 attacks on Sikhs who were mistaken for Muslims, the bombing of Pearl Harbor also led many Americans to engage in acts of vigilantism against persons thought to look Japanese.

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