Keke Palmer Explained Why Police Kneeling At Black Lives Matter Protests "Has No Meaning"

    "Kneeling has become a mockery... Kneeling on George Floyd's neck is what killed him."

    Last week, a video showing Hustlers actor Keke Palmer confronting members of the National Guard at a Black Lives Matter protest went viral on Twitter.

    Theo Wargo / Getty Images

    The video, which has almost 500,000 likes and over 25 million views, shows Keke pleading with the soldiers to leave their posts and march alongside protesters.

    "This is when y'all stand together with the community, with society, to stop the governmental oppression," Keke said in the video. "Period. We need you."

    She went on: "March beside us. You get your people. You march beside us. Let the revolution be televised. March beside us and show us that you're here for us. Make history with us, please."

    Eventually, the members of the National Guard said they couldn't march with the protesters, but agreed to kneel in a display of solidarity. Through cheers from the crowd, Keke could be heard saying: "I don't know. That ain't enough for me."

    Now, writing in a guest column for Variety, Keke has explained why she asked the soldiers to march alongside her, and why she believes the display of police and soldiers kneeling at protests is "not enough".

    "In my wildest dreams, they would all march with us without risk of punishment, in the same way that if the whole class walks out of school, no one gets detention for it," Keke wrote.

    Angela Weiss / Getty Images

    "If enough of them felt moved to do this, it would offer so much inspiration and impact the movement in such a meaningful way," she explained.

    She went on to say that she took issue with the fact that the officer said his job was to "protect the businesses" and buildings in the area.

    Steven Ferdman / Getty Images

    "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," Keke said. "And the government is telling you to protect a building? That doesn’t add up to me."

    And she also explained why kneeling, for her, is not enough.

    She wrote:

    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. At this point, the kneeling has no meaning.

    Keke concluded the column by addressing those who aren't willing to stand up and actively fight against racism and police brutality.

    Chris Delmas / Getty Images

    She explained: "I’m a big believer that your fight is specific to you, and it must come from a real place or it simply will not work. I can’t ask anyone to do what they aren’t willing to do."

    "However, I do ask everyone to ask themselves a question: 'Where do I draw the line?'" Keke said. "Because if not now, then when?"

    You can read Keke's Variety column in full here.

    Ellie Bate is a celebrity reporter and talent coordinator at BuzzFeed UK and is based in London.

    Contact Ellie Bate at eleanor.bate@buzzfeed.com.

    Got a confidential tip? Submit it here