Keke Palmer Says She Believes President Donald Trump Is 'Inciting a Race War'

"His craziness is inspiring us to just really get him the f--- out!" KeKe Palmer told Cosmopolitan

Keke Palmer
Keke Palmer. Photo: Dana Scruggs

Keke Palmer believes President Donald Trump is "inciting a race war."

Palmer, 26, graces the "Jaugust" cover of Cosmopolitan (on stands July 14), opening up about the state of the world following the death of George Floyd — and so many others.

"I think President Trump plays into it too. He's inciting a race war. His craziness is inspiring us to just really get him the f--- out!" she told Cosmopolitan.

"It's like we needed somebody who riled us up so much for us to be activated to the point of saying, 'Oh, hell no. I can't let this guy continue," Palmer shared. (Trump, 74, spoke out in support of Floyd’s family after his death in Minneapolis police custody. But the president's focus has become the largely peaceful protestors, whom he called lawless “thugs” and threatened with military force.)

The Hustlers star has long been on the frontlines fighting for change. Back in 2014, she protested following the killing of Michael Brown in Missouri. In June, Palmer made headlines for urging national guardsmen to "march with us" during a protest against police brutality.

This time around, however, the movement comes amid coronavirus pandemic, which Palmer thinks has allowed people to be more "reflective."

"Of course no one wanted the coronavirus pandemic to happen," she told the magazine. "But I think quarantine allowed us to be more reflective. Maybe before, we'd be able to gloss over it because of work."

Keke Palmer
Keke Palmer. Dana Scruggs

"It's also been a buildup: There have been so many names turned into hashtags, so much pain. It blows me away because our language has progressed — I on't mean specifically Black people. I mean young people, millennials. Naming white supremacy, saying that out loud. When I heard 'defund the police,' I'm like 'Oh s---. We actually could do that,'" she told Cosmopolitan.

Explaining her viral encounter with the national guardsmen, Palmer told Cosmopolitan: "At that moment, I felt, 'You're human like me. I'm fighting out here, not just for me but for you too, you and the universe.'"

"Everything I said came out like word vomit. I know I didn't let him get a word in edgewise, but it was because I wanted him to feel me. I wanted to connect to the human, not the suit, not this robot-ass s---."

Palmer's interview with Cosmo comes after she penned a passionate call for change in a guest column for Variety, sharing that she believes she has been waiting for a revolution her "entire life."

“I like following rules and doing what I’m told,” Palmer began in the column. “As a kid, these rules stick with you. But even at a young age, I was taught to question the things that didn’t feel right to me.”

Keke Palmer
Keke Palmer. Dana Scruggs

She continued, “Sometimes, going against authority is the only remedy for change, especially when we have seen, too often, those authority figures step over the line. So where do you draw the line? How do you know to draw the line? Is there a line?”

In the column, published the same day that Floyd was laid to rest in his hometown of Houston, Texas, Palmer explained that a revolution is needed in America to dismantle and rebuild the current systems.

“I have waited for a revolution, I believe, my entire life. I feel it’s like this for many millennials; messages about following rules and staying in line have since evolved into calls to stand up and get others to stand with you, to challenge authority and recognize different life experiences while gathering with others who are like-minded,” Palmer wrote. “I truly believe that everything that has led us to this moment has prepared us for a revolution and a revelation: the dismantling and rebuilding of a system that is better, more equitable and representative of the people it claims to represent.”

“So while it may be scary, we were born for this: We were born to be leaders and grow out of just ‘following rules’ because following rules isn’t enough,” she concluded. “We are now being called to challenge the rules and to challenge the character of those making them.”

To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:

  • Campaign Zero ( which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
  • works to make the government more responsive to racial disparities.
  • National Cares Mentoring Movement ( provides social and academic support to help Black youth succeed in college and beyond.
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