Keke Palmer is an actor, singer, tv personality, author and activist. She takes none of those titles lightly. Three years ago, Keke wrote a book, at the age of 23, which guided Millenials in how to be a voice of change in their communities. Keke strongly believes that global change starts locally so we should all get out in our own backyards and do the work. That is exactly what she did on Tuesday when she joined the protests in Hollywood and asked the National Guard to support their efforts by marching with them, which resulted in them taking a knee.
Using her voice. Keke Palmer urged members of the National Guard to march alongside Black Lives Matter protesters during a peaceful demonstration on Tuesday, June 2.
“We have people here that need your help,” the actress, 26, said to a group of guardsmen on a street in Hollywood in a video shared via Twitter by NBC News correspondent Gadi Schwartz. “This is when you and y’all stand together with the community, with society, to stop the governmental oppression. Period. We need you.”
She continued, “March with us. March beside us. Get your people. … Let the revolution be televised. March beside us and show us that you’re here for us. Make history with us, please. Let’s just do it. We start marching and you march with us.”
One of the men offered to “make a deal” with Palmer, saying, “I can’t leave this post. I will march through this street with you guys, this intersection to that intersection, but I have to control this area.”
The Daytime Emmy nominee pointed out the man’s use of the word “control” and shook her head. She then asked, “What is there to control? March with us. It’ll send a huge message.”
The guardsman reiterated that he was unable to leave the area because he had to ensure the safety of other demonstrators and nearby buildings. However, he and the other members of the National Guard took a knee in the street in support of Black Lives Matter. Palmer was still disappointed though, saying, “I’m at a loss ‘cause it’s not enough. That ain’t enough for me.”
The video of Keke’s exchange with the National Guardsman is below. The guardsmen took a knee when one of the protesters off camera asked for it as a gesture. The National Guard are military. I apologize if this comes across as both siding the story, but please remember I am a military kid. This guy had orders and he’s looking at a court martial and possible dishonorable discharge if he doesn’t follow those orders, both of which would go on his permanent record. I have no idea who the man in the video is. He could be a horrible racist who doesn’t care about Black Lives Matter, in which case, drum him out of the corps. But if he isn’t, if he’s a decent enough guy who got orders to deploy to LA over the weekend, I can understand his panic in trying to make that decision on the spot. Also remember that “taking a knee” is a military gesture of respect for the fallen, which is why Kaepernick adopted it, so those guardsmen dropping to a knee meant more than most of the cops who have done it.
That said, I do fully support Keke’s position and understand her frustration. She’s asked for a show of support from her government. She’s wanted proof they were there to protect the US citizens in the street, something that could have been accomplished while walking alongside them. The larger statement being made by the guardsmen only taking a token walk is the same one that we’ve expected Black Americans to accept since time immemorial: Be satisfied with what we give you. Keke’s right, there needs to be proof that the country will move away from systemic racism. Since every state in the union is asking for the same thing right at this moment, now would be a good time to show that it will.
Here is the full exchange:
Watch all of this. pic.twitter.com/YHq0QhXrnw
— Gadi Schwartz (@GadiNBC) June 2, 2020
Photo credit: WENN/Avalon and Twitter