When National Guardsmen knelt before Keke Palmer and a crowd of protesters earlier this month, the actress said that “ain’t enough for me.” And in a new op-ed published Tuesday, she made it clear why.
Palmer, like many celebrities, had joined a protest demanding justice for George Floyd and other unarmed black Americans killed by police. At one point during the demonstration, she urged the National Guard to march with the group. Instead, they knelt before her one by one.
But as critics have pointed out, such displays largely function as positive publicity for police without serving the cause; in fact, if anything, they impede it.
“Kneeling has become a mockery of sorts,” Palmer wrote in Variety. “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.”
In her op-ed, Palmer says she’s “waited for a revolution, I believe, my entire life.”
“Sometimes, going against authority is the only remedy for change, especially when we have seen, too often, those authority figures step over the line,” Palmer wrote. “So where do you draw the line? How do you know to draw the line? Is there a line?”
Palmer recalled that one of the National Guardsmen present at the protest offered to march with the protesters for a little while, but also said he had to “protect the businesses” and surrounding buildings.
“But what about the people who are actually dying?” Palmer wrote. ‘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. And the government is telling you to protect a building? That doesn’t add up to me, and I wanted to challenge them with the question, ‘How does that add up to you?’”