South Coast American-Australians have described the death of George Floyd and the violent riots in the US as "horrifying" and a sign of greater issues.
Dr Karin Geiselhart, who came to Australia in the 1970s from New Jersey, said there was a ramping up of civil unrest and a "loss of any kind of unified feeling" in her homeland.
The Moruya Heads resident is a long-time protester, demonstrating against the Vietnam War in the US and coalmines in Australia.
"I was in university in the late 60s when there were riots in New York, and it was very scary," Dr Geiselhart said. "I was in university when Martin Luther-King was shot."
In the late 60s, "it felt like an awakening, that we could change the world, to make love, not war".
She said Americans were becoming more weaponised and inequalities, created by globalisation, had intensified.
"The US is becoming a third-world country where they will tear down government buildings," she said.
Tomakin man Mathew Hatcher grew up in Alabama and went to a high school where 70 per cent of students were African-American.
He said most people were not racist, however in his hometown, about 30 per cent of white people were, and it was "sickening".
He said it seemed protesters were taking advantage to riot and steal, but there was a deeper problem.
"Inevitably there are people doing that. At the same time, you don't know what it's like to grow up worrying about police shooting you," Mr Hatcher said.
He said the riots were symbolic of a broader racist and violent culture in the US, with a a cycle of both civilians and police officers arming themselves out of fear they might get shot.
"Americans seem to not get it when it comes to guns," he said.
"They keep militarising themselves. They think it's their right to have them.
"Because of that, the cops have to carry assault rifles.
"I've been pulled over and had a gun pointed at me by police. They're trigger-happy.
"There's a bigger systematic problem that isn't going to be fixed."
Mr Hatcher heard some protesters protected a police officer, who was separated from the command, from other protesters.
"That's the sort of stuff we need. We don't need the burning down of a target ... or stealing and burning a store to the ground," he said.
Drugs, guns and high crime rates did not make Mr Hatcher feel safe in the US.
"I will never go back and live there," he said.
"There's a huge divide between the governments and people."