Some people’s principles can change at the drop of a hat: their real thoughts about race become apparent when the talking point switches from the pandemic to the BLM protests.

That’s exactly what Twitter user TheEpicDept showed us when he compared how the same social media users reacted to the Covid-19 lockdown demands to stay at home vs. how they reacted when people took to the streets to protest the death of George Floyd. The differences in opinion are… striking. Scroll down and have a look for yourselves, dear Pandas.

So the same individuals who were talking about ‘tyranny’ and about coronavirus conspiracy theories just a while ago are now denouncing people exercising the same rights they were so keen to defend. Bored Panda spoke about the BLM protests, racism, and reforming the US system with writer and concerned citizen Zariya Grant from New Jersey. Read on for our interview with her.

Image credits: TheEpicDept

TheEpicDept’s Twitter thread exposing the hypocrisy of some people got over 515k likes and was retweeted more than 233 times. The original poster also invited people to donate to groups fighting for racial justice. Meanwhile, Twitter users took the chance to post hilarious memes poking fun at the people who radically changed their points of view once the topic switched to race.

BLM protests are happening around the world. The British health secretary Matt Hancock urged people not to attend protests if people can’t observe social distancing measures. He denied that the UK is racist and said: “I support very strongly the argument that is being made by those who are protesting… but the virus itself doesn’t discriminate and gathering in large groups is temporarily against the rules precisely because it increases the risk of the spread of this virus.”

“It’s not ‘black people vs. white people,’ it’s ‘everyone vs. the racists’”

Writer Zariya believes that the BLM protests are very much what the world needs right now. “I think the protests are just what the world needed. Our voices clearly weren’t being heard. And it’s not ‘black people vs. white people,’ it’s ‘everyone vs. the racists,’ and the protests are a great visualization of how many people are standing with the black community. I think the looting is where things got irrelevant to the cause, however,” Zariya spoke to Bored Panda about the BLM protests.

Zariya feels like the police are neither protecting nor serving Americans, even though they’re supposed to do both.

“I’ve seen so many videos of police beating up innocent people behind walls when they think no one is recording, I’ve heard one too many stories of people getting pulled over because the officer said it ‘looked like they were going to speed,’ men and women are getting abducted by police officers, not even arrested. As a black person living in America, it really makes me wonder ‘if someone were to break into my house, can I even call the police?’” she shared her fears.

“No loopholes, no favoritism, no free passes”

But how should the system be reformed to ensure justice and safety for black Americans? Zariya has some ideas.

“To reform the system, we need to listen and understand the oppressed people. We need to make sure that the people we’re giving the job of ‘protecting and serving’ to are actually going into this field with that intent,” she said.

“And if they’re just using the title as a way to abuse and murder innocent lives, they face the same punishment that is written by the judicial system. No loopholes, no favoritism, no free passes. As someone who considered going into law enforcement and was a law major in college, I learned that the police are trained to ‘one-up a threat,’ so if someone draws a knife, they draw a gun for example. If we stopped this ‘one-up’ teaching, I’m sure a lot would change. The argument ‘I thought he had a gun, so I shot him’ would no longer be valid in any sort of way.”

Here’s how Twitter users reacted to the comparisons of what some people said before and after the BLM protests

Image credits: TheEpicDept

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