Keke Palmer Believes Police Officers Need to Do More Than Kneel at Black Lives Matter Protests

Starr Bowenbank
Photo credit: Jonathan Leibson - Getty Images
Photo credit: Jonathan Leibson - Getty Images

From Seventeen

  • Keke Palmer went viral last week for asking National Guard members to join her in protest.

  • Following her plea, Keke penned a letter about why the Black Lives Matter movement means so much to her, and explained that viral moment.

Last week, Keke Palmer went viral after a video of her speaking to members of National Guard caught the attention of the internet. In the video, Keke called for members of the Guard to join in on the George Floyd and Black Lives Matter marches and walk with the protestors. Sadly, they declined, but Keke's message remains strong—we need people at the top to stop oppressing the movement and join in to give it added strength.

Following the protests, Keke penned a guest column with Variety, and explained exactly why the Black Lives Matter protests mean so much to her. "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 wrote.

Keke then address why she doesn't care that police officers and military men across the country have kneeled while people are protesting. "While a few guardsmen knelt, for me that 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 said. "At this point, the kneeling has no meaning."

And as far as the viral video of her asking to the Guardsman to march, Keke explained that she couldn't understand how maintaining a post takes precedence over standing up for actual human lives. "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," Keke continued. "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."

Before signing off, Keke left her readers with a powerful message: "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 added. "We are now being called to challenge the rules and to challenge the character of those making them."

Here are guides for how to demand justice right now, how to find mental health resources if you’re a Black woman, how to talk to your relatives about Black Lives Matter, how to spot a fake protest story, and how to protest safely.


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