Professor of Law, Osagie K. Obasogie recently (11/2013) published a book titled, “Blinded by Sight: Seeing Race Through the Eyes of the Blind”. As stated by Professor Obasogie, “Given the assumptions behind this influential metaphor—that being blind to race will lead to racial equality—it’s curious that, until now, we have not considered if or how the blind ‘see’ race.”
His research reveals that race is not colorblind. The blind do not “ see” color, but they do have a visual concept of race. Hence, they make choices on friends and relationships using the same construct as the sighted. (link to YouTube interview)
It is an intriguing thought exercise to contrast Professor Obasogie’s findings with the ambitions of a colorblind society desired by Ward Connerly.
Ward Connerly led the charge on passage of Proposition 209 (1998) that eliminated affirmative actions in both state schools and in government in California. Again in 2003 he pushed for Proposition 54, which did not pass, to eliminate racial preference or acknowledge racial/ethnic categories at all levels of society in the State of California, believing it would put us on the path towards equality.
The jury is out on the impacts (pro or con) of Proposition 209 here in California and similar legislation in other states, nevertheless a simple truth remains, race is a social construct further evidenced by Professor Obasogie’s findings. The good news is we constructed it, so we can deconstruct it, but using a blunt political instrument like propositions is not the path.