If you haven’t watched the video of Keke Palmer’s speech to a national guardsman during a #BlackLivesMatter protest, watch it. Immediately. The video, which went viral on Tuesday, June 2, showed Keke telling several members of the National Guard to “march with us” at a peaceful protest in Hollywood in the wake of the death of George Floyd, an unarmed 46-year-old unarmed black man who was murdered by a white police officer in Minneapolis on May 25.
“You have to pay attention to what’s going on or else we have a president that’s trying to incite a race war,” Keke says in the video, referencing President Donald Trump’s recent public address, where he threatened to deploy the military in response to the recent protests.
The True Jackson, VP alum continued, “The borders are closed. We can’t leave. We have people here that need your help,” she continues. “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.”
The video, which was posted by NBC correspondent Gadi Schwartz and has received more than 100,000 retweets, continues with Keke telling the officers to “make history” by marching with the protestors.
“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. Let’s just do it. We start marching and you march with us,” she says in the video. “Make history with us please!”
When one officer tells Keke that he can’t leave his post because of orders but offers to march with the protestors to the next intersection, the actress responds: “March with us, it will send a huge message. You’re the protector…If you’re supposed to be patrolling us, then walk with us.”
The officer then explains to Keke that he needs to remain in the area as a “patrol” member, to which the singer responds, “I’m at a loss.” At the end of the video, the soldier agrees to take the knee with knee with other protestors as Keke can be heard saying off camera that the act is “not enough.”
“I absolutely support your guys’ right to protest. I absolutely support that, but we need to stay here because this is where all of our supplies are,” another guardsman said in a second video.
The videos come a day after Keke took to her Instagram on Monday, June 1, to urge her followers to demand new laws to reform the United States government and end systemic racial violence. “At 26, I’m looking out and witnessing a physical revolt—and it’s a revolt on a scale that I wasn’t sure I’d ever see,” she said. “To those that may not be looking close enough, all they will see is looting, or people who don’t really care about the movement, or anarchy without a movement. But what I see is a society responding to the oppressor about how the oppressor has responded to us. I see no respect for the establishment because the establishment hasn’t shown respect to the people.”
Keke continued, “Racism is what the country was built on: Slavery, systematic oppression, then voter oppression, female oppression, poor education system so you’re intentionally uninformed, financial oppression. Human beings can only take so much. American needs government reform that demand legislations and new laws that birth the future for our kids. We deserve a new system because the old one was created to oppress us.”
Keke’s video come after the murder of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, who was murdered by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Floyd died from asphyxiation after Chauvin placed his knee on the man’s neck for almost nine minutes. Four days after Floyd’s death, Chauvin was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. The other three police officers who were present but did nothing to prevent Floyd’s death are still under investigation, as of May 29. All officers have been fired.