Keke Palmer is being praised after a powerful video was shared online of the actress pleading with National Guard troops to march with demonstrators during a Black Lives Matter protest in Los Angeles on Tuesday as they demanded justice for George Floyd. Palmer speaks passionately to the soldiers in the video, who ultimately tell her they can't vacate their post, but show solidarity with the cause by taking a knee with the group of protesters.
"You have to pay attention about what's going on, or else — we have a president who's trying to incite a race war," Palmer said in the video. "Our 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
She asked the troops, "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. Make history with us!" Although the soldiers declined Palmer's invitation to march alongside them, they did agree to take a knee after being asked by other demonstrators. With others in the crowd kneeling alongside them, the video of the moment quickly went viral, with more than 24 million people watching just the original clip.
On Wednesday, the Strahan, Sara and Keke co-host said on Good Morning America that the moment happened "randomly" when she was struck with the thought that the troops could want the chance to protest as well. "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?'" she said. "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."
Palmer is one of the many celebrities who have spoken out against racism and police brutality in the protests following the death of George Floyd in police custody. Star Wars actor John Boyega delivered an impassioned speech during a London protest, saying, "Look, I don’t know if I’m going to have a career after this, but f— that."
Listing the names of black men and women who have been killed by police over the past 20 years, he told the crowd, "I need you guys to understand how painful this s— is." He continued tearfully, "Today is about innocent people who were halfway through their process. We don’t know what George Floyd could have achieved, we don’t know what Sandra Bland could have achieved, but today we’re going to make sure that won’t be an alien thought to our young ones."