’s Hannan Adely reports

When supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol last week, many Americans responded with shock, saying that this kind of unrest doesn’t happen here.

But for many Black and brown Americans, the notion that political violence is foreign to America is simply wrong. From attacks on protests to voter suppression to discriminatory policing, they see political violence as a common feature of U.S. history.  

“Americans say one thing about democracy,” said Nathaniel Briggs, 73, a civil rights activist from Teaneck, reflecting on the Jan. 6 siege. “They write laws and have amendments to the Constitution to create a democracy on paper. They say it, but when it comes to my rights to be a human being, they say another thing.”

American history is littered with examples of intimidation and violence to suppress minorities’ struggles for democratic rights, including mob rampages against abolitionists, attacks on protesters during civil rights marches of the 1960s, and theharsh crackdowns on some Black Lives Matter protests of today.