“We are brothers & sisters y’all. All colors! Peace is the answer,” the actress and singer tweeted, touching off a firestorm of criticism
Keke Palmer joined protesters Saturday night in Ferguson, Missouri after the singer, actress, and BET Host came under fire on social media for comments she made earlier urging calm at demonstrations over the shooting death of Michael Brown.
A police officer shot and killed Brown, an unarmed African-American teenager, on Aug. 9, touching off a series of protests and sporadic looting.
The day after the shooting, Palmer posted messages on Twitter urging unity and nonviolence. “Why do we hate eachother, harm eachother, kill eachother? We are brothers & sisters y’all. All colors! Peace is the answer,” the 21-year-old star tweeted.
She followed it up with a tweet saying, “MLK had a dream & it came true. Those same dreams can grow if we stick together as ONE PEOPLE.”
Palmer also posted a series of videos on her Instagram page, asking her followers to embrace unity and compassion.
While she meant well, some of her fans were not pleased and accused her for being “naïve” or worse.
“You, my dear, are sounding stupid as fu– right now,” one Twitter user replied.
Another asked, “Who R U talking to? The cops?”
In an interview with the Huffington Post, Palmer said, “As far as what’s going on with Mike Brown, I spoke up on that, because unproductive outrage has never gotten us anywhere,” she continued. “Even with MLK and everything that he did for black people … all he spoke about was unity, because throwing hate and being angry, and violence, that doesn’t give us peace and equality. That’s like having sex in order to get your virginity. It’s just the complete opposite thing to do.”
Despite the controversy, other fans praised the Hollywood star on Sunday for using her celebrity to bring attention to the situation in Ferguson.
“@KekePalmer thank you for showing love to my community,” a Twitter user named Gerald tweeted.
Another person tweeted a picture of Palmer at a protest, along with the caption, “Thank you for standing with the people of Ferguson.”
Palmer also visited Greater Grace Church on Sunday in St. Louis, where a rally was held in support of Brown’s family. The Rev. Al Sharpton and Brown’s parents — Lesley McSpadden and Michael Brown Sr. — also attended.
Palmer is best known for her role in the 2006 film “Akeelah and the Bee.” She currently hosts a youth-oriented talk show on BET called “Just Keke” and is set to become Broadway’s first black Cinderella on Sept. 9, when she begins a run in “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella.”
Below are some of the tweets from Twitter users who took issue with Palmer’s comments.