In this piece on NPR’s Code Switch, Kat Chow discusses the forthcoming book by Hastings College of Law professor Osagie Obasogie, Blinded by Sight: Seeing Race in the Eyes of the Blind. Inspired by Ray Charles’s experience of race, as depicted in the biopic Ray, Professor Obasogiebegan interviewing blind people to get a clearer understanding of how the blind experience race.
The results, I think, are not terribly surprising. Professor Obasogie notes that since the blind are socialized into the same racially structured social milieu that the sighted are, they internalize race in much the same way. Only, for the blind, this means drawing on proxies for skin color and needing to make inferences about race from other clues. (Which the sighted also must do in situations where skin color is ambiguous.)
Nonetheless, this looks like a fascinating study and one that will add a new dimension to the discourse on race and the operations of racial oppression.