White and Black: the only race categories used when polling about Trayvon Martin

Apparently. Despite the fact that Zimmerman identifies as Hispanic.

But what about the views of Hispanics? They were heard. The methodology statements of Pew and Gallup both state that they conducted interviews in Spanish when necessary. But they were not reported. In transforming data into a story line, the media only reported the “black” and “white” perspectives. What might be called the “brown” perspective was wholly obscured.

I asked the pollsters why. Pew told me that it had interviewed 1,000 people, including 732 non-Hispanics and 109 non-Hispanic blacks, meaning it also polled 159 people who didn’t fall into those categories. Of those 159 people, Pew told me that 64 identified themselves as Hispanic, with the remainder classifying themselves as Asian or Pacific Islander, Native American/American Indian, mixed race, or other or refusing to answer.

“Only the sample sizes for non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic black were large enough to be meaningful,” Pew told me.

The collective viewpoint of Hispanics and others who don’t identify as white or black wasn’t “large enough to be meaningful” — even though they were more numerous than the African-Americans whose views were reported. It’s hard to think of a more clear-cut example of how the American media “privileges” the political narratives of blacks and whites over those of Americans who are neither.