From my Taki Magazine column:
With the Census Bureau announcing this spring that the number of Hispanics in America has surpassed 50 million—a large majority of them of Mexican background—it’s worth remembering the “Fernandomania” that swept the country 30 years ago.
America held only 15 million Hispanics when Fernando Valenzuela, a 20-year-old rookie Los Angeles Dodgers baseball pitcher from Mexico, started the 1981 season with eight straight wins, five of them shutouts. (In contrast, the 2010 Dodgers chalked up only four shutouts over 162 games.) Whenever Fernando pitched, attendance would soar as Latinos and others rushed to the ballpark to cheer on the uniquely charismatic phenom. ...
I recount this ancient history because it illuminates the curious question of why there are so few Mexican superstars today in any branch of American popular culture other than boxing. Sure, there are stars—actress Eva Longoria of Desperate Housewives, third baseman Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and others of similar wattage—but why so few superstars, especially in contrast to African-Americans?
Read the whole thing there.