US President Donald Trump is trying to incite a "race war", a civil rights activist on the ground in Washington DC has claimed.
Protests have broken out across the US over the past two weeks, following the death of an unarmed African-American man at the hands of police.
But rather than let them fizzle out, like protests in the past against police brutality and discrimination against blacks have, Trump instead went on the offensive - sending in armed troops and letting police run riot against unarmed protesters and news crews.
Ten days in, the protesters are showing no signs of quitting.
"Things are still escalating in Washington because President Trump continues to escalate a race war with the rhetoric that he's using," political commentator Ameshia Cross told Newshub Nation on Saturday morning.
"People in DC, by and large, have been waiting to see change, just like black people across the country in police brutality and police reforms, but also other things that are affecting the African-American community."
Since the death of George Floyd, other incidents of white-on-black homicide have been uncovered, adding fuel to the protesters' fire.
"Ahmaud Arbery in in Georgia, who was murdered by an ex-police officer in a vigilante justice situation... In Breonna Taylor's case, actually murdered while she was sleeping in her bedroom when a police officer, a police group, entered the home on a no-knock warrant and were actually looking for someone who they already had in custody and somehow had the wrong place. Everything was just entirely incorrect and a young woman lost her life.
"So I think that here in America, there's just so much frustration around the fact that these situations keep happening and happening and happening. And there's a sense of being fed-up. And George Floyds death was the catalyst."
Trump last week tweeted "when the looting starts, the shooting starts", which earned him a rare slap on the wrist from Twitter for inciting violence.
"It's actually a statement that was made by segregationist George Wallace," said Cross. "It was a statement that was made by [anti-civil rights politician] Bull Connor when he was sicing dogs and water hoses on individuals who were protesting in the '60s during the civil rights movement.
"This is something that has a resonating, reverberating and very visceral reaction from African-Americans, specifically because we've heard it used over decades when people were trying to protect the status quo and keep black people away from their civil rights and civil liberties as afforded to us by the Constitution of the United States.
"This President utilising that right now when the tensions are so high, when the expectation is that a president, the president of the nation, the greatest nation in the world is not calm. He's not using a voice of calm. He's not using a voice of leadership. He's using a voice to continue to dismantle and to destroy and disrupt something that we're trying to build."
Watch the video for Newshub Nation's full interview with Ameshia Cross.