Meghan Markle addressed the police killing of George Floyd as she delivered a virtual graduation speech to her old school.
Markle, in her address to students at Immaculate Heart High School and Middle School in Los Angeles, described “what is happening in our country and in our state and in our hometown of LA” as “absolutely devastating.”
“And I wasn’t sure what I could say to you,” she said. “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. Stephon Clark. His life mattered,” Markle continued.
Floyd, a Black man, died after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin had his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. Chauvin faces a charge of second-degree murder, and three other former officers face other charges in the killing.
Markle said she was “so sorry you have to grow up in a world where this is still present,” recalling her own memories of living in Los Angeles during the riots of 1992, when she was around 11 years old, calling on students to harness their values to rebuild “because when the foundation is broken, so are we.”
“You are going to lead with love, you are going to lead with compassion, you are going to use your voice. You are going to use your voice in a stronger way than you have ever been able to,” she said. “Because most of you are 18 or you’re going to turn 18, you are going to vote. You are going to have empathy for those who don’t see the world through the same lens that you do.”
“Because with as diverse and vibrant and open-minded as I know the teachings in Immaculate Heart are, I know you know that Black lives matter,” she added. “So I am already excited for what you are going to do in the world, you are equipped, you are ready, we need you and you are prepared.”
Check out the video here:
A recently resurfaced video of Meghan speaking out about being biracial and the discrimination she’s witnessed over the years resurfaced as the protests waged on.
The clip, which was part of the 2012 Erase the Hate campaign, featured Meghan wearing a shirt that read, “I won’t stand for racism.”
“I’m biracial. Most people can’t tell what I’m mixed with and so much of my life has felt like being a fly on the wall,” Meghan, who has a Black mother and white father, says.
“A couple of years ago I heard someone call my mom the ‘n-word,’” she said. “So I think for me ― beyond being personally affected by racism ― to see the landscape of what our country is like right now and certainly the world and to want things to be better.”
“Certain people don’t look at me and see me as a Black woman or a biracial woman,” she explained. “They treat me different, differently I think then they would if they knew what I was mixed with. And I think that is ― I don’t know ― it can be a struggle as much as it can be a good thing depending on the people that you’re dealing with.”
Toward the end of the video, Meghan expressed hope that the world will be different when she welcomed children of her own.
When the “Suits” actress began dating the prince, Kensington Palace issued a statement on behalf of Harry, condemning the “wave of abuse” Meghan faced from the media and from trolls online.