Meghan Markle is as devastated by the brazen killing of George Floyd just like the rest of us. The Duchess of Sussex made a surprise virtual commencement speech to the graduating class of her alma mater Immaculate Heart High School when she revealed she struggled to find the right words to address the state of unrest in the world.
“What is happening in our country and in our state and in our hometown of L.A. has been absolutely devastating. I wasn’t sure what I could say to you,” she said with her hair pulled back into a low ponytail. “I wanted to say the right thing and I was really nervous that I wouldn’t, or that it would get picked apart. And I realized the only wrong thing to say is to say nothing because George Floyd’s life mattered and Breonna Taylor’s life mattered and Philando Castile’s life mattered and Tamir Rice’s life mattered, and so did so many other people whose names we know and whose names we do not know.”
In the six-minute address, Markle recalls what it was like growing up during the 1991 LA riots, which began over violent footage of police beating Rodney King. “I am sorry that in a way we have not gotten to the place where you deserve it to be.” Markle encouraged students to use their voice as they gain the right to vote upon their 18th birthday.
“You’re going to use your voice in a stronger way than you’ve ever been able to, because most of you are 18 – or you’re going to turn 18 soon — so you’re going to vote,” she said during the Wednesday speech. “You’re going to have empathy for those who don’t see the world through the same lens that you do.”
Her inspirational speech concluded with her name dropping the #BlackLiveMatters movement and expressing her pride in their accomplishments.
“I know you know that Black Lives Matter. I am already excited for what you are going to do in the world. You are ready, we need you and you are prepared,” Meghan said. “I’m so proud to call each of you a fellow alumni. I am cheering you on, all along the way. I am exceptionally proud of you.”