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

By Osagie Obasogie

Colorblindness has develop into a vital part of the nationwide dialog on race in the USA. Given the assumptions at the back of this influential metaphor—that being ignorant of race will bring about racial equality—it's curious that, formerly, we've not thought of if or how the blind "see" race. such a lot sighted humans think that the answer's noticeable: they do not, and are consequently incapable of racial bias—an instance that the sighted group should still most likely stick with. In Blinded through Sight,Osagie ok. 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 all people else. Ask a blind individual what race is, and they're going to almost certainly consult with visible cues equivalent to pores and skin 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 acquaintances with, who they date, and lots more and plenty more.

In Blinded via Sight, Obasogie argues that instead of being visually noticeable, either blind and sighted everyone is socialized to determine race specifically methods, even to some degree the place blind humans "see" race. So what does this suggest for a 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

Sample text

While the Civil War and Reconstruction Amendments provided powerful mechanisms to make Blacks full citizens, there were equally powerful opposing forces determined to maintain racial subordination through different means. The increasingly sophisticated notion of race-as-biology played this key role: providing a rational, and objectively verifiable, measurement system that demonstrated racial Critiquing the Critique 23 minorities’ inferiority as natural, inherent, and heritable. Within the Darwinian framework, this not only justified the status quo, but gave moral impetus to the belief that to try to change these status relationships would be contrary to evolutionary progress and thus society itself.

Therefore, the instability of racial categories and meanings as well as the frequency with which they change belie claims to their immutability. Despite its appeal and popularity, the perspective that race is socially constructed has itself been critiqued along at least three different lines in the postwar era. After the critique of biological race “went public” through the first UNESCO Statement on Race in 1950 but before the language of social constructionism became a popular way to capture these sentiments, there were concerns that the constructionist approach might be overly political in making anti-racist claims not supported by scientific data.

83 Put another way, visually engaging with art pieces identified as racial in character is not neutral or objective, but is a product of social conditions. Martin A. ” Berger explores art history to make the main point about race and human vision that this book, in part, is trying to empirically demonstrate through interviewing blind people about race: Despite the human propensity to privilege sight, and the long standing Western tendency to root racial designations in observable traits, images do not persuade us to internalize racial values embedded within them, so much as they confirm meanings for which the discourses and structures of our society have predisposed us.

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