Keke Palmer Explains Why Participating in Recent Protest Had a "Different Energy"

In early June, Keke Palmer urged National Guard members to march alongside protesters.

By Samantha Schnurr Jun 12, 2020 2:01 PMTags
Watch: See Keke Palmer Ask National Guard to "March Beside Us"

Keke Palmer was looking for unity. 

Earlier this month in Hollywood, the Strahan, Sara and Keke co-host urged National Guard members to march alongside protesters. The moment was captured on camera and quickly went viral. Reflecting on the experience, Palmer told Jimmy Kimmel on Thursday that, while she had attended protests in the past, she hadn't experienced "one like this in a time like this—especially with all the stuff that was happening with quarantine."

She continued, "Being around that many people at once—it was a lot. It was different. It was a different energy I think because none of us had been anywhere in awhile."

While she "really wanted to be out there to just protest for this cause," Palmer said the National Guardsmen were blocking them from going further with the peaceful protest.

"I was weirded out a bit and kind of confused," she described to Kimmel. "I think from like a genuine naïve place of being confused as to why there's now this separation between us."

While the songstress acknowledged they had a job to do, Palmer also pointed out that "they're human like I'm human." 

As she wondered, "I just felt like why can't they be with us, marching with us?"

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What resulted was Palmer's impassioned remarks to a trio of guardsmen. She told Kimmel, "I feel like there's such a division being created in society right now from every angle, whether you're in the military, whether you're Black, white, whatever, that I just felt like we all need to come together and I think I just was really overwhelmed and I didn't know really what I was saying. I was just really speaking from my heart and how I was feeling."

While the guardsmen did not march with them, they did agree to get down on one knee. 

Palmer felt like walking side by side could have been an opportunity to come together and be "beyond" the division the current administration is inciting.