• Clodagh Meaney

Keke Palmer opens up about viral protest video as she guest edits Cosmopolitan magazine

The star went viral in June for asking National Guardsmen to join a Black Lives Matter protest.



Keke Palmer has opened up about the viral video of her speaking to National Guardsmen at a Black Lives Matter protest.

It comes as the 26-year-old actress guest edited this month's Cosmopolitan magazine, as well as starring on the cover.


At the beginning of June, Gadi Schwartz from NBC News posted footage of the Hustlers star asking National Guardsmen who were deployed to the streets, to join a protest

"[you have a president] saying 'once the looting starts, the shooting starts," she told them.


"You have a president talking about the second amendment as a use for people to come out here and use firearms against the people who are protesting."


"This is the messages that we’re seeing," she said.


"I don’t know if you on social media, because the news don’t tell you everything. But you have to pay attention to what’s going on or else we’re gonna—we have a president who’s trying to incite a race war."


"We need you," she told them.


"And when the borders are closed, we can’t leave. You have people in here that need your help. This is when you and y’all stand together with the community, with society to stop the governmental oppression, period."




Opening up about the experience, Keke recalled how powerful it felt.


"I can’t even tell you. It was so euphoric," she said.


"I just felt so united with everybody. It wasn’t no celebrity-type shit, you know what I mean? I’ve never felt like that before."


"If I sit and think about everything that’s happened in this country, I wouldn’t get out of fucking bed in the morning," she continued.


"So for us to have that moment of just helping each other heal, just standing by each other, marching and saying, 'No justice, no peace.' That’s so powerful.


Although she was not successful in her persuasion, a number of Guardsman took a knee in solidarity with the protesters, an action Keke said was not enough.


"George Floyd died because somebody kneeled on his neck. I’m not looking for you to kneel," she said.




"I’m not looking for a moment. I’m looking for us to stand together. If now isn’t the time to do it, then when is? Because there was a time when standing up to the slave master seemed crazy as hell too."


Not considering herself an activist, but an actress and singer with a platform she said of the movement: “I feel as if we can’t go back now. It’s only going forward.”


Her initial response to the protest was emotional, with Keke saying that she herself couldn't engage with violence.


"When I saw some of the violence. I couldn’t actually see myself doing that because I work from a different place, but I understand it," she said.


"There are people out there who feel like that is their only option in order to be heard or their only way to have access to something they feel represents value."


"If the language for so long toward you has been violence, how would you expect someone to respond? I feel like there’s such a lack of compassion."


Keke's next single Snack is out on Friday July 10th.

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