Keke Palmer publicly pleaded with U.S. National Guard soldiers to “be the change” by joining the actress and her fellow Black Lives Matter protesters on the front lines in Hollywood on Tuesday (June 2, 2020).
The Hustlers star took part in a peaceful demonstration in Los Angeles and tried to convince troops at the scene to “make history” by standing alongside the activists, demanding an end to police brutality and calling for justice for unarmed African-American George Floyd, who was killed at the hands of a white cop in Minnesota last week (May 25, 2020).
In an impassioned conversation with the armed guards, Palmer urged them to help send a powerful message to U.S. President Donald Trump and his administration by marching with the group.
The exchange was caught on camera by NBC News correspondent Gadi Schwartz, who shared the footage on Twitter.
“You have to understand what’s going on,” Palmer said. “We have a president who’s trying to incite a race war.”
“We have people here that need your help,” she continued. “This is when y’all stand together with the community, with society, to stop the governmental oppression. Period. We need you, so march with us… March beside us… Let the revolution be televised.”
One guard appeared to offer a handshake to Palmer to show his support, but she insisted on having the soldiers walk with the protesters around the block.
“March beside us and show us that you’re here for us,” she begged. “Let’s just do it. We start marching and you march with us. Make history with us, please.”
The officer explained they are not allowed to leave their post, where they have been instructed to patrol the area, and instead suggested the troops accompany the group across the intersection – but it wasn’t enough for Palmer.
“March with us, it will send a huge message,” Palmer pleaded. “You’re the protector. If you’re supposed to be patrolling us, then walk with us.”
Another protester then asks the guard, “Can you do me a favor? Can you take a kneel (sic)?”, to which he replied, “Absolutely,” as other members of his unit joined him in the show of solidarity.
Although some activists cheered at the move, Palmer was unsatisfied by the gesture, and muttered, “I don’t know, that ain’t enough for me (sic).”
She later took to Instagram to share her thoughts on the ongoing protests.
“At 26, I’m looking out and witnessing a physical revolt, and it’s a revolt on a scale that I wasn’t sure I’d ever see,” she told fans in a video. “To those that may not be looking close enough, all they will see is looting, or people who don’t really care about the movement, or anarchy without a movement. But what I see is a society responding to the oppressor about how the oppressor has responded to us.
“Racism is what the country was built on: Slavery, systematic oppression, then voter oppression, female oppression, poor education system so you’re intentionally uninformed, financial oppression.
“Human beings can only take so much. American needs government reform that demand legislations and new laws that birth the future for our kids (sic). We deserve a new system because the old one was created to oppress us.”