When you hear, ‘black lives matter,’ don’t instinctively respond that all lives matter, as if one statement negates the other. Instead, try to understand why people of color might be compelled to remind the world that their lives have value.
When others share their reality, don’t immediately dismiss them because their reality is dissimilar to yours, or because their reality makes you uncomfortable and forces you to see things you prefer to ignore.
Avoid creating a hierarchy of human suffering as if compassion were a finite resource. Don’t assume that if one person says, ‘These are the ways I am marginalized,’ they are suggesting you know nothing of pain and want.
Roxane Gay, Of Lions and Men: Mourning Samuel DuBose and Cecil the Lion (July 2015)