This essay discusses how, despite the liberatory potential of technology, racial bias pervades the digital space. This bias creates tension with both the formal, de jure equality notion of “colorblindness” (in U.S. constitutional law) as well as the broader, substantive, de facto equality idea (in international human rights law). The essay draws on the work of Osagie Obasogie to show how blind people perceive race in the same way as sighted people, despite not being able to see race. It then uses blindness as a metaphor to explore how race is seen and not seen online, and analyzes the implications of this for human rights.
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