Keke Palmer is a positive force for change. The actress was part of a George Floyd protest in Hollywood and convinced members of the National Guard to take a knee with her in unity.
It takes courage to calmly confront National Guardsmen amid a Black Lives Matter protest, and actress/host Keke Palmer, 26, showed that she has strength and leadership in spades. The Strahan, Sara and Keke host was part of a large gathering in Hollywood on June 2, and already the area around Hollywood and Highland Boulevards had been occupied by armed guardsmen and their military vehicles. But rather than call out their presence, Keke asked them to join her group during their march. She even got the men in full camo uniforms to take a knee on the street along with her in solidarity.
The protest in Hollywood was just one that occurred in all 50 states on Tuesday following the agonizing police-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25. In a video that’s now gone viral, Keke was seen talking to the guardsmen and bringing up President Donald Trump‘s May 28 Twitter message, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts,” upon activating the National Guard to quell protests.
“You have to pay attention to what’s going on. Cause we have a president who is trying to incite a race war. And the borders are closed. We can’t leave. We have people in here that need your help. This is when y’all can stand together with the community and society to stop the governmental oppression. Period,” Keke told the guardsmen with passion in her voice.
“We need you. March beside us. March beside us. Let the revolution be televised. We’ll start marching and you march with us. Please,” Keke pleaded with the men. The crowd around her started chanting “March with us! March with us!” The sqaud’s leader told the former Scream Queens actress that they couldn’t leave their designated post, but that they would march down the length of the street with the protesters. She kept on persisting, but he said they couldn’t leave, as they were assigned to help protect the nearby businesses.
But Keke got the next best thing. When she asked if he would take a knee, the lead soldier told her “absolutely” and got down on one knee in solidarity with the protesters. His fellow citizen-soldiers joined in and did the same, with the tips of their guns touching the ground. Eventually everyone else in Keke’s group joined in, with numerous people heard saying, “Let’s do this together.” In the end, everyone applauded each others’ mutual respect in the uplifting moment. After protests that have seen demonstrators fired upon with tear gas and rubber bullets, this was such a welcome outcome.