Keke Palmer on Her Powerful Moment with the National Guard

At a June 2nd protest supporting the Black Lives Matter movement in Los Angeles, actress, singer and activist Keke Palmer spoke directly to the National Guard. Now, Palmer is addressing the success of the video and how she felt in that moment.


Captured by NBC News correspondent Gadi Schwartz, the viral video shows Palmer going face to face with the National Guard stationed at the protest. When speaking to the soldiers, she says:

"You have to pay attention to what's going on or else we have a president that's trying to incite a race war. The 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."

Palmer joined Jimmy Kimmel on his show yesterday to talk about the moving moment.

Palmer compared this protest to previous protests she has attended, and why this one felt so different. Palmer tells Kimmel:

"I've been to many different protests, but not one like this in a time like this, especially with all the stuff that was happening with quarantine. Being around that many people at once was a lot. It was different. It was a different energy because none of us had been anywhere in a while."

When asked if Palmer had anticipated speaking to any officers or National Guardsmen, she says:

"I really really wanted to be out there and protest for this cause. And then I saw the National Guardsmen and they were blocking us from going further with the peaceful protest and in that moment...I was confused as to why there's now this separation between us. They're human and I'm human....Why can't they be with us, marching with us?"

In the video, the guardsmen take a knee in solidarity with the movement, which Palmer described as "not enough." She further explained this position to Kimmel:

"Let's just get together...let's be beyond what's happening. It was a risk. I understand he has a job to do, but...what if your job is telling you to do something you don't believe in? I know you want to be out here with me. I know you want to walk side-by-side so let's just do it."

Following the video, Palmer received a call from Joe Biden about the situation. Here's what she had to say about that phone call:

"I didn't get to ask him everything I wanted to ask him, but it was good to talk...I guess he was cool, but I can't say after the convo I was totally thrilled or excited per say, but it was good to talk."

Palmer continues to actively support the Black Lives Matter movement through donating, marching, and posting on her various social media platforms.

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