A Civilian's Secret Weapon in Trump's America

Over time, especially over painful times, our memory starts playing tricks on us. Things we swore we’d never forget begin to distort in the remembering. Instead of pulling memories up from the ether completely, we instead remember flashes, colors, the way the air tasted for a millisecond, abstractions. The look on her face when.

I assume this is a biological mutation where, if we could remember things in all their fullness, we would jump out the window. Trauma is painful. Faulty memory becomes a protective scab.

All I know is-- today, and tomorrow, and every day after that, it is our grave duty to remember everything-- even that which hurts in the recollection.

Today’s the day. In addition to protesting, making art and sharing it, and staying angry, I am pledging to keep a daily journal for the next four years. I encourage you to do the same. It is a small but mighty way we can resist. We need to witness and write things down in all their inelegance and brutality despite how much it hurts.

That way, as things morph and distort in the way memories do, as despair settles in and becomes the new normal, we can keep track of what really happened. We have a weapon-- a record of our thoughts, fears, the national climate, the things being taken from us. Our records become our anchors. This is powerful.

Paradigm shifts happen in increments, daily encroachments that pervert the status quo so stealthily we don’t realize it’s happening. But if we write down what we witness, every day, we stay vigilant.

Every day of Trump’s America, I promise to answer the question: What does America look like right now? Put my finger to the pulse and feel it. Then write it down.

They are going to lie to us. Tell us we’re misremembering. Tell us the media has tricked us into false memory. It has already begun, and it is the surreal stuff of nightmares. But with our secret record, we can look back and recall the truth. We can open up our notebooks, find the day and say--

No. You’re wrong. That’s not what happened. HERE is the full picture, in all its blood and rage. I remember what you did, I remember it completely. And I will not forget.