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Keke Palmer says President Trump is ‘inciting a race war’ and talks ‘euphoric’ experience of confronting the National Guard

Keke Palmer says that President Donald Trump is “inciting a race war” as people across the country are joining the fight against racial injustice, claiming even that the president’s “craziness” is what brought so many people to the cause.

“I think President Trump plays into it too. He’s inciting a race war. His craziness is inspiring us to just really get him the f*** out!” the 26-year-old told Cosmopolitan for its “Jaugust” cover. “It’s like we needed somebody who riled us up so much for us to be activated to the point of saying, ‘Oh, hell no. I can’t let this guy continue. I have to do something. I have to find a way to let my voice be heard and to let people know that I’m not with this.’”

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Keke Palmer out and about

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WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE WITH ANDY COHEN -- Pictured: Keke Palmer -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE WITH ANDY COHEN -- Pictured: Keke Palmer -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JULY 06: Keke Palmer attends 2019 ESSENCE Festival Presented By Coca-Cola at Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on July 06, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for ESSENCE)

GOOD MORNING AMERICA - 6/14/19 Ellie Goulding performs live from Central Park as part of the GMA Summer Concert Series on "Good Morning America," Friday, June 14, 2019, airing on ABC. GMA19 (Photo by Paula Lobo/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images) ELLIE GOULDING, KEKE PALMER, MICHAEL STRAHAN

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - JUNE 01: KeKe Palmer speaks onstage during 2019 Atlanta Ultimate Women's Expo at Georgia World Congress Center on June 01, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 07: Actress Lauren Keyana "Keke" Palmer talks about her movie "Pimp" at Build Studio on February 07, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Anthony DelMundo/Getty Images)

BUSY TONIGHT -- Episode 133 -- Pictured: Keke Palmer on the set of Busy Tonight -- (Photo by: Jordin Althaus/E! Entertainment/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 19: Keke Palmer attends Echoing Soundz and Walter Mosley Firm "Fa La La Holiday Bash" on December 19, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Maury Phillips/Getty Images)

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - JANUARY 10: Actress KeKe Palmer attends "Pimp" Atlanta Screening at Midtown Art Cinema Theatre on January 10, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 17: Actress/Singer Keke Palmer attends NAACP Image Awards Screening of "PIMP" on December 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Robin L Marshall/Getty Images)

STAR: L-R: Guest star Keke Palmer, Ryan Destiny and Brittany O'Grady in the "Amazing Grace" episode of STAR airing Wednesday, April 10 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)

STAR: Guest star Keke Palmer in the "Toxic" episode of STAR airing Wednesday, March 27 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)

WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE WITH ANDY COHEN -- Pictured: Keke Palmer -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE WITH ANDY COHEN -- Pictured (l-r): Andy Cohen, Kandi Burruss and Keke Palmer -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 07: Keke Palmer at Vertical Entertainment's "Pimp" After Party at The Grove on November 7, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Morgan Lieberman/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 07:Keke Palmer arrives at the premiere of Vertical Entertainment's "Pimp" at Pacific Theatres at The Grove on November 7, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Morgan Lieberman/Getty Images)

STAR: L-R: Ryan Destiny and guest star Keke Palmer behind the scenes in the "Watch the Throne" episode of STAR airing Wednesday, March 20 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)

ATLANTA, GA - JUNE 03: Actress Keke Palmer speaks on stage during the Atlanta Ultimate Women's Expo at Georgia World Congress Center on June 3, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Marcus Ingram/Getty Images)

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Although the actress, singer and co-host ofABC’s Strahan, Sara & Keke hasn’t been known for getting political in the past, Palmer went on to say that the current movement for racial equality seems different in the way that it’s seemingly impossible not to speak out. Palmer pairs people’s urgency to change the country’s leadership with the helplessness many felt during the coronavirus pandemic as reasons for the heightened awareness and influence of the Black Lives Matter movement. For her, however, it was her own experiences with racism that made it easier to answer the call to action.

“It’s so powerful for me because I’ve been through it. I know what it feels like to be hated for your skin. It’s so silly and it’s so stupid, but it’s so cruel,” she said. “I know what it feels like when somebody is racist toward you, and you literally go to a sunken place, you can’t speak. It’s so hard to explain if you’ve never felt it, but I know you have. It hurts. And we get so strong that sometimes it’s like we don’t even realize it, because we’ve been carrying the weight of it for so long.”

Palmer explained that when she entered the industry 15 years ago, the weight of her life experiences only grew heavier as she learned that her platform would come with more responsibility simply because she is Black.

“I’m an entertainer. I was taught at a very young age that because I’m Black, that’s not enough. I can’t just entertain without thinking about what it means to my community,” she explained. “I know I have a platform, but at the end of the day, I’m not the political person that lives and breathes this day in, day out or an activist that lives and breathes this day in, day out. I don’t have all the answers, I just speak to what I believe in. Let’s speak our voice. Let’s not let up.”

When using her voice to speak directly to a group of National Guardsman during a protest in Hollywood on June 2, asking the men to join the peaceful protest, Palmer was praised for her powerful words and her ability to bring people together during a divisive time.

“When we start to approach [the soldiers], I’m literally just thinking aloud, ‘Why are they not with us?’” Palmer recalled. “Honestly, for me, it went back—I’m sorry, I’m getting emotional because it reminds me of my niece. When I look at her and she asks me such simple questions like, ‘Why is the sky blue? Why are there clouds? Where do planets come from?’ that’s what it felt like: ‘Why are they not with us?’ I really, honestly wanted to know why.”

Although she wasn’t able to get the men to march alongside the protestors, Palmer calls her experience as part of the protest “so euphoric.”

“I just felt so united with everybody. It wasn’t no celebrity-type s***, you know what I mean? I’ve never felt like that before,” she said. “If I sit and think about everything that’s happened in this country, I wouldn’t get out of f***ing bed in the morning. So for us to have that moment of just helping each other heal, just standing by each other, marching and saying, ‘No justice, no peace.’ That’s so powerful.”

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