Hot on the heels of some discussion of racial attitudes in Asia, “China has called up its first black athlete”:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/5157717/China-calls-up-its-first-black-athlete.html. Ding Hui, whose mother in Chinese and whose father is from South Africa, has “joined the national volleyball team”:http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/sports/2009-04/16/content_7685380.htm. Just as Americans think they have ‘ended race’ by reinforcing racial classification so strongly that a kid with parents from Kenya and Kansas raised in Manoa and Indonesia gets labelled as ‘black’ (and elected as president), so too the head coach of the National Youth Volleyball team, Zhou Jian’an, says “We pick players for their ability and to meet the needs of the team as a whole… He’s no different from the other players. They are all Chinese.” The head coach of his league volleyball team also notes: “He’s also a great singer and dancer.” The Telegraph reports that “On Chinese internet forums, he has been lauded for the ‘whiteness’ of his teeth and the ‘athleticism of his genes’.”
All of which is to say that inverting the moral valuation of different forms of racial classification is not the same thing as dismantling the system of classification itself.