Keke Palmer Urges National Guardsmen to 'March with Us' During Protest: 'Be the Change'
Keke Palmer wants to see change.
The Singled Out host, 26, made a passionate plea to members of the National Guards during a peaceful demonstration in Hollywood on Tuesday, urging officers to "be the change" and march with people protesting racial injustice and police brutality in the wake of George Floyd's death.
In a video tweeted by NBC News correspondent Gadi Schwartz, Palmer delivers an emotional speech to a group of armed guardsman while standing in the middle of a crowded street.
Referring to President Donald Trump's recent public address, in which he threatened to deploy the military in response to the protests, Palmer tells the soldiers, "You have to pay attention to what's going on or else we have a president that's trying to incite a race war."
"The borders are closed. We can't leave. We have people here that need your help," she continues. "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 with us. March beside us. Get your people. March beside us. Let the revolution be televised. March beside us and show us that you’re here for us. Let’s just do it. We start marching and you march with us," she says. "Make history with us please!"
One officer then tells Palmer that he cannot leave his post due to orders, but offers to march with the crowd to the next intersection.
"March with us, it will send a huge message," the Hustlers star asks. "You're the protector. ... If you're supposed to be patrolling us, then walk with us."
When the officer explains that he needs to remain in the area as "patrol" for businesses, Palmer replies, "I’m at a loss."
The video ends with the guardsmen agreeing to take a knee at the urging of another protester, though Palmer can be heard commenting off-camera that the act is "not enough."
"I absolutely support your guys' right to protest. I absolutely support that, but we need to stay here because this is where all of our supplies are," one guardsman explains in a following video.
It's unclear if Palmer did succeed in getting the guardsman to march with protesters, though her impassioned plea drew many responses on social media.
"KEKE FOR PRESIDENT," Nick Jonas replied.
Palmer previously shared her thoughts about the ongoing protests across the nation, saying in a video on her Instagram on Monday, "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."
"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. I see no respect for the establishment because the establishment hasn’t shown respect to the people," she said.
"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," Palmer continued. "Human beings can only take so much."
"American needs government reform that demand legislations and new laws that birth the future for our kids. We deserve a new system because the old one was created to oppress us."
To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:
• Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
• ColorofChange.org works to make government more responsive to racial disparities.
• National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help black youth succeed in college and beyond.