Spurious Issues: Race and Multiracial Identity Politics in the United States


Recent times have seen the rise of a movement lobbying for explicit recognition of multiracial identity as separate from any other racial category. Factions in this movement have petitioned the government for the addition of a federal multiracial category to the census and to other official forms. While these attempts have as yet been unsuccessful, the potential impact of such a change cannot be overstated. Rainier Spencer takes up the claims of multiracial activists, subjecting their arguments to a level of scholarly rigor they have heretofore not been required to meet. Demonstrating that the twin justifications for a federal multiracial category- accuracy and self-esteem- are inherently contradictory, Spencer presents an absorbing analysis of race, multirace, and categorization that shakes the very foundations of racial identity on all sides. Spurious Issues is a critical examination of multiracial identity politics in the United States, and of the specific issues surrounding federal racial classification. It is also a book about race generally, an extended argument that invites and challenges its readers to assume a skeptical position in regard to one of the most widely accepted but rarely analyzed components of life in the United States.