By Osagie Obasogie
Colorblindness has develop into a vital part of the nationwide dialog on race in the US. Given the assumptions at the back of this influential metaphor—that being ignorant of race will result in racial equality—it's curious that, earlier, we've not thought of if or how the blind "see" race. such a lot sighted humans imagine that the answer's noticeable: they do not, and are as a result incapable of racial bias—an instance that the sighted group may still most likely 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 on the grounds that beginning: even the blind are not colorblind—blind humans comprehend race visually, similar to each person else. Ask a blind individual what race is, and they're going to most certainly discuss with visible cues similar 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 pals with, who they date, and masses more.
In Blinded by way of Sight, Obasogie argues that instead of being visually noticeable, either blind and sighted individuals are socialized to determine race particularly methods, even to some extent 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 info for Blinded by Sight: Seeing Race Through the Eyes of the Blind
This slice of World War II history introduces a key concept at the heart of almost all modern race scholarship: the social construction of race. The rapidly shifting meanings and ideas surrounding race and ethnicity in the wake of the bombing of Pearl Harbor shows how racial meanings are neither static nor timeless. Rather, they are constructed by social, economic, and political developments that can rapidly attach new meanings to racialized bodies with a power and force that can make these newly constructed meanings seem like an essential aspect of group membership.
75 The attention these scholars have paid to the constitutive nature of vision has brought great insight into historical and theoretical work concerning identity issues involving race, gender, and sexuality. Donna Haraway, a leading figure in the history of science, notes that “the rays from my optical device diffract rather than reflect. ”76 This idea that our eyes do not naturally see difference but only absorb the effects of difference produced by society is taken up by Joan W. Scott in The Evidence of Experience, where she takes a critical perspective on history and the historian: “When experience is taken as the origin of knowledge, the vision of the individual subject (the person who had the experience or the historian who recounts it) becomes the bedrock of evidence on which explanation is built.
Such efforts impacted Americans’ view of the Japanese and Japanese Americans. In many ways, Americans despised the Japanese more than other nationalities we were at war with; the idea of racial difference played a distinctive role both in how the Japanese were understood on their own terms and, in a comparative sense, in relation to Germans and Italians. Not only were Japanese dehumanized by cartoonists, journalists, and others as being apes, monkeys, and rodents—whereby their seeming physical distinctions blurred seamlessly with the bestial form to which they were being compared—but the comparative political rhetoric surrounding discursive references to America’s enemies during World War II treated the Japanese as a separate and monolithic group.
Blinded by Sight: Seeing Race Through the Eyes of the Blind by Osagie Obasogie