Why do media describe George Zimmerman as a "white Hispanic?"

George Zimmerman the guy accused by the media, activists--but not the police or prosecutors--who shot and killed Trayvon Martin is being described in much of the media as a "white Hispanic." In the decades that I've labored as a newsman and columnist, I've never see a suspect in a crime described as a "white Hispanic."  In stories about immigration and other social issues, the term also rarely, if ever appears.

The census bureau and demographers often use the term, as opposed to black Hispanic. Political correctness explains why--it's complicated--but now the term appears to beginning to make it into the mainstream. Jonah Goldberg at the National Review has an interesting explanation:

White Hispanic.” That’s how the New York Times, Reuters, and other media outlets have opted to describe George Zimmerman, a man who would simply be Hispanic if he hadn’t shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. The term, rarely if ever used before this tragedy, is necessary in telling the Martin story in a more comfortable way.

I think that it's a good explanation.

 

Comments

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  • I think they used "white Hispanic" because he is a white Hispanic.

  • Yes, indeed, after all President Obama is our first white black President - or is t'other way around?

  • That's why they call me a white Irish German Huguenot Canadian Scotch-Irish. Doesn't all this slicing and dicing tire you out?

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    You can not, Dennis, have a whole mess of demographic without the old pigeonhole.

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    What, no Polish?

  • Because "Hispanic" is considered an "ethnicity" -- not a "race" (which scientifically is a false construct anyway).

    Ergo, one can be a Black Hispanic, like Sammy Sosa, a Native Hispanic like Benito Juarez, while many "elite" "Hispanics" are generally "Castilian" -- of European linguistic and ethnic "stock".

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    Chicago Tribune contributing op-ed columnist and author of forthcoming historical novel, "Madness: The War of 1812." Reporter, editor and columnist for Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Daily News. Freelance writer and editor.

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