Keke Palmer Addresses Police and the Military at Protests: 'Kneeling Is Not Enough'

(Theo Wargo/Getty Images For Ifp)

Keke Palmer is continuing to speak out one week after a video of her at a Los Angeles protest went viral. The 26-year-old actress was protesting police brutality and racial injustice when she was filmed speaking with a member of the National Guard, asking him to march with the protesters in a show of solidarity. 

In a new guest column for Variety, Palmer opens up her interaction with the guard, and why the Black Lives Matter movement is so important to her. Protests began following the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who died on May 25 after a police officer pressed his knee into Floyd's neck for more than eight minutes.

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"Sometimes, going against authority is the only remedy for change, especially when we have seen, too often, those authority figures step over the line," she writes. 

Palmer says that law enforcement kneeling at protests "isn't enough."

 "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," she says. "At this point, the kneeling has no meaning."

Palmer couldn't understand the National Guardsman's reasoning for why his unit chose not to march with the protesters. 

"They didn’t march with us, and while one offered to for a short stretch, he also said he had to 'protect the businesses' and buildings in the area," the Hustlers star writes. "But what about the people who are actually dying? In that moment, I wasn’t thinking about who may or may not touch a building; I was thinking about how we’re out here, fighting for a call to protect human lives."

The passionate star adds, "I don’t know everything, but I know how to speak from my heart -- at least I try to every day," she continues. "I have waited for a revolution, I believe, my entire life."

Palmer also has words of encouragement for young people who are speaking out at this time. 

"So while it may be scary, we were born for this: We were born to be leaders and grow out of just 'following rules' because following rules isn’t enough," she proclaims. "We are now being called to challenge the rules and to challenge the character of those making them."



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