Keke Palmer Opened Up About Urging National Guardsmen to March with Protesters
"I wanted to just bring as much awareness as we all can to the injustices that are going on in America."
In a video from the protest, the Hustlers actress could be seen imploring a National Guard member and his fellow guardsmen to walk alongside the protesters instead of policing them. After the video was posted online, people applauded Palmer for speaking out.
"I wanted to just bring as much awareness as we all can to the injustices that are going on in America," Palmer said about the encounter during a Good Morning America interview. "Being there with everyone, we were all just so inspired and, empowered, I think, is the word."
In the video, Palmer could be heard telling the guardsmen to "march with us," telling them, "You have to pay attention to what's going on. We have a president that's trying to incite a race war, and the borders are closed. We can't leave. You have people in here that need your help. This is when you stand together with community, with society, to stop the governmental oppression. Period. We need you."
Palmer told Good Morning America the encounter happened "randomly": "I was just talking to the people that I was marching with. I just posed the question of 'Why are they not with us? Why are they not able to be with us?' Here we are marching in peace and with purpose, and I'm sure many of them feel the same way as we do. I wanted us to just unite as human beings above all."
Though the guardsmen could be seen deferring to another protester's request that they "take a knee," Palmer could be heard in the video saying it is "not enough."
"Though the kneeling — it can be seen as a walk in the same direction — we all can also see that just moments after in some of these cities where we've seen the kneeling, we've seen the teargassing and everything, the chaos afterwards," she told Good Morning America.
"The reality is we have a president that with every tweet incites divisiveness," she said. "Some would even say, a situation where our military has orders to unleash on its citizens. Obviously everyone has a choice to make in working for the government, whether you are a policeman or working with the National Guard or politics, I think I as a citizen want to know what side of history you're trying to be on? Is there a person in that uniform?"
"I want to know that the people that are in these powerful positions of saving or taking a life, I want to know they're with the citizens and committed to taking a stand against the system and injustices. If we are unified no matter who you are or what you're wearing we can create change. Buildings can be rebuilt, but once lives are taken, they're gone."