Photo: Jussie Smollett via The Root.
Violence is committed every day, but people in marginalized groups experience violence at considerably higher rates than majority group members, and more often simply because of who they are. For minority group members, this can lead to a pervasive (and frankly, realistic) sense of vulnerability that causes increased symptoms of anxiety, depression, and PTSD, especially when hate-based violence is a news event.
Jeffrey Marsh has some gentle suggestions for being supportive:
Checking in and validating–without pressuring someone to talk or to help you to process–can be helpful, especially if you are willing to simply allow your friend or loved one to have the space to manage their feelings.
Publicly speaking out to or among other majority group members can also be helpful: for example, share a supportive post. But consider sharing a post that does NOT include graphic images or footage of violence. People who live with the threat of violence daily don’t need further exposure and may feel even more vulnerable.
Let people know they are loved and valued and that you want them to be safe, happy, and thriving! ❤