My dear friend Alexis Record has some very important steps for us to take, for those of us who’ve recovered from the initial shock and grief and are ready to get to work. I’ll have a lot more for you very soon, but this is a brilliant way to get started.
Here’s how to be a friend and support to those who need you right now in ten (not so easy) steps.
1. Acknowledge our fear and grief.
2. Offer to protect, love, and support us.
3. Publicly condemn when people hurt us or others. The key word is “publicly.”
4. Report abuse.
5. Educate yourself on the specific needs of the disabled community, LGBTQUA community, Black community, Muslim community, immigrant/adoption community, etc.
6. Pile on the loving comments onto someone’s post when they talk about being attacked or feeling grief. Seriously, love them hard.
7. Absolutely no apologetics. You don’t think our discrimination was “that bad,” you don’t think our fears are warranted, or you want to deflect our critics of one party by saying some third party is worse, then this includes you. Quit it. Hurting people don’t seek out debates on their very lives and experiences. It’s not loving.
8. Donate to help us clean up the mess domestic terrorism has in our and others’ lives. Maybe helping donate to repaint a house or car seems superficial, but it can show some very scared people that others care.
9. Understand that when we unfriend and unfollow voices on Facebook, it doesn’t mean we don’t love others, it means THEY ARE NOT A SAFE PERSON for us right now. Unfriending, unfollowing, and limiting exposure to those who are not sympathetic is an act of self care. Don’t shame anyone for it.
10. Repeat all of the above DAILY.