The defining event for Generation X was the 1986 amnesty. 1983 and 1989 were different worlds. 1983: “what are mestizos? Never heard of em. Oh, look, there’s that Zebra video Martha Quinn was talking about” 1989: “the HR department has informed us that if you want large items to be thrown out by the cleaning crew you must label them ‘basura,’ not ‘trash’” – Wharf Rat
It definitely was in its results. Did it feel impactful at the time? Not over here on the East Coast, where I’d not even seen a single Mexican until around 1991… and I worked in a restaurant kitchen! Much less a Guatemalan. Immigration was an abstract matter over here at the time.
Generation X didn’t really have those world-changing single-event defining moments in our formative years. The closest to those were:
– Reagan’s reelection victory
– Televangelist scandals
– Challenger explosion
– The O.J. Simpson verdict, but most of us were already well into our twenties then.
– Waco and Ruby Ridge were, for most of us in the United States, faraway events. Clinton’s election victory (again, many of us were young adults by then) was a weird experience regardless of one’s party affiliation. There was something unserious and thus disorienting about having a saxophone-playing, briefs/boxers-discussing U.S. President.
– The end of the Cold War, followed by reunification of Germany, independence of Ukraine and Baltic states, and war in Yugoslavia was the first time we saw lines on the map of the Western world change.
We are a skipped-over, transitional, forgotten generation. Even our teen anthem is titled Don’t You Forget About Me. We had Grunge as our one proprietary thing, plus the privilege of being teenagers in the ’80s.
Other than that, we “don’t exist.” See this great rant by Steph (kid youtuber, almost certainly has an adult collaborator). She goes off on Boomers, goes off on Millennials, no mention of us.
GenX is a messenger, ghost, witness, invisible helper generation. We created the AltRight and we are Generation Zyklon’s spiritual ally.
The video has the grey graphic look like it had been taken down, but it’s perfectly good and playable at the moment.