A recent op-ed in The New York Times provides a useful tool in that regard. The author tells the story of murderous violence in Los Angeles in 1871. That violence was triggered by fighting between rival Chinese gangs, which later spilled-over into attacks by native-borns against Chinese immigrants. In those later attacks 18 Chinese were murdered.
All of these stories, present and past, are awfully painful. But finding a route into discussing them can provide comfort, and historical context and meaning, to our students.