You could be forgiven for thinking the streets of Kalgoorlie looked like something straight out of America yesterday.

And while calm is returning to Kalgoorlie after the death of a 14-year-old boy sparked violent protests, a bigger issue appears to have been uncovered.

Indigenous elders in the area are calling on more to be done about an undercurrent of racism in the community, which they say is to blame for the violence.

So what triggered such a violent outburst?

A local 14-year-old, Elijah Doughty, was killed after he was allegedly hit by the driver of a ute while out riding a motorcycle.

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The ABC is reporting that the motorcycle was allegedly stolen, and linked to the driver of the ute.

The violence began when the driver of the ute was charged with manslaughter, triggering protests and anger outside of the Kalgoorlie courthouse.

But it’s racist comments on social media that could have made things even worse, elders say.

Two Kalgoorlie elders have spoken to the ABC, calling for police to take action against people posting racist comment on Kalgoorlie community social media pages.

Bruce Smith said it was an issue that had been brewing over in Kalgoorlie for years.

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“What are they going to do about it? The justice system, is it working for all Australians?,” he said.

He wants police to tackle the undercurrent of racism boiling over onto social media, which has seen Aboriginal people threatened with rape and violence.

“Those are the ones that are going to continue brewing those attitudes we don’t want to see, and it’s all coming out on social media, on Facebook,” he said.

“They’ve got to learn that these people (Indigenous people) are going to live,  and the justice system that’s going to serve them should be put right so that the future generation of our youths in this town are being protected.”

Fellow elder Aubrey Lynch said the violence was “buggering up” the relationship between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous community.

“I just think, well, if anything can come out of it good, it’d be for the community to wake up to themselves and realise, to keep their kids home, not let them roam the streets and the wider community to help the Aboriginal people work together and live together, live side by side instead of having this hatred,” he said.

What do you think? Is Australia heading down the path of America when it comes to racism?