It isn’t Keke Palmer’s job to be out on the front lines of the Black Lives Matter protests pleading with National Guardsmen. But this incredible 26-year-old star did it anyway, delivering an impassioned speech asking armed guards to stand with those protesting the death of George Floyd and march with them. In a video that’s since gone viral, Palmer implores the National Guard to show they stand with the people and denounce the violence against peaceful protestors.
Palmer starts by offering the National Guardsmen some context for why the protestors are here today — and why they need the help of those sent to police them. “I don’t know if you’re on social media, because the news doesn’t tell you everything but you have to pay attention to what’s going on,” Palmer says. “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. 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.”
Watch all of this. pic.twitter.com/YHq0QhXrnw
— Gadi Schwartz (@GadiNBC) June 2, 2020
Palmer begins to repeat “march beside us,” as the people behind her cheer and clap — and the National Guardsmen equivocate. One says he’s unable to walk past the end of the block given his patrol duty, but Palmer continues to push back, focusing her impassioned refrain and fierce, bright energy on the officials in front of her.
In the end, the officers agreed to take a knee. But Palmer’s voice rings on in the background: “March with us, march with us. Protect us.” Symbolic gestures are one thing, but these protestors need real help, real protection. If these officers are truly committed to preventing violence, we hope they’re prepared to prove it.