Things That Matter

Keke Palmer Wrote An Essay About Why Police Kneeling At Black Lives Matter Protests ‘Has No Meaning’ For Her

Updated June 10, 2020.

Hustlers actress Keke Palmer has always known how to deliver. Her performance as the titular character in the 2006 film Akeelah and the Bee stole the hearts of audiences watching and delivered such a strong message about perseverance. Palmer delivered yet another powerful message on Tuesday amidst the peaceful demonstrations taking place in the wake of George Floyd’s murder.

Taking part in protests last Tuesday, the actress spoke to several members of the National Guard telling them that they can be part of the change.

While asking National Guard members to “be the change” in the fight against racial injustice, Keke spoke passionately about wanting to see them join protests.

“We have people here that need your help,” Palmer told National Guard officers in a video Tweeted by NBC News correspondent Gadi Schwartz. “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.”

Palmer went on to ask members to “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. Make history with us, please.”

After listening to Palmer a guard member offered to walk with the group across an intersection but remained steadfast that they had to stay at their post.

But Palmer urged that this was not good enough.

“March with us, it will send a huge message,” Palmer continued, “You’re the protector. If you’re supposed to be patrolling us, then walk with us.”The guardsman explained again that he could not move from his post, but when another protester asked the guardsmen to take a knee they did so.

Unsatisfied, Palmer continued to say the action was not enough for her and later shared her thoughts on the events taking place across the country.

“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 said in the video. “Human beings can only take so much. Americans need government reform that demands legislation and new laws that birth the future for our kids. We deserve a new system because the old one was created to oppress us.”

Recently, Palmer explained in a guest column for Variety why she felt the display of police and soldiers kneeling at protests is “not enough”.

In her piece for Variety, Palmer explained “In my wildest dreams, they would all march with us without risk of punishment, in the same way, that if the whole class walks out of school, no one gets detention for it.”

In regards to not accepting the officer’s display of taking a knee to be enough, Palmer wrote “Kneeling has become a mockery of sorts. Kneeling on George Floyd’s neck is what killed him. Now we see police officers kneeling and then, moments later, attacking peaceful protesters. At this point, the kneeling has no meaning.”

Keke finished her piece by encouraging others to join in the fight and stand up to racism and police brutality.

“I’m a big believer that your fight is specific to you, and it must come from a real place or it simply will not work. I can’t ask anyone to do what they aren’t willing to do,” she wrote. “However, I do ask everyone to ask themselves a question: ‘Where do I draw the line? Because if not now, then when?”

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