Meghan Markle delivers emotive message following George Floyd's death

Anya Meyerowitz
Photo credit: Karwai Tang - Getty Images

From Red Online

The Duchess of Sussex has addressed the graduating class of her former high school via Zoom from her home in Los Angeles, with her speech calling out what is happening in the US as 'absolutely devastating'.

Apologising to the students of Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles for not 'getting the world to a place where you deserve it to be', she encouraged them to 'become the leaders we so deeply crave.'

In the heartfelt video message Meghan reveals she was 'nervous' about speaking out over the issue, but added: 'The only wrong thing to say is to say nothing'.

She went on to tell students: 'I wasn’t sure what I could say to you. I wanted to say the right thing and I was really nervous that it would get picked apart.

'And I realised 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.'

Photo credit: Sky News

She also shared the wise words of one of her sophomore teachers who, as Meghan was heading out to volunteer, told the now-duchess: 'always remember to put other’s needs above your own fears'.

'That has stuck with me throughout my entire life and I have thought about it more in the last week than ever before,' she explained. 'So the first thing I want to say to you is that I'm sorry. I'm so sorry that you have to grow up in a world where this is still present.'

Meghan also went on to share a memory from her childhood, when riots were taking place in LA.

'I was 11 or 12 years old and it was the LA Riots, which was also triggered by senseless act of racism. I remember the curfew and I remember rushing back home and on that drive home, seeing ash fall from the sky and smelling the smoke and seeing the smoke billow out of buildings.

'I remember seeing men in the back of a van just holding guns and rifles. I remember pulling up the house and seeing the tree, that had always been there, completely charred. And those memories don’t go away.'

She added that students should have an understanding of that 'as a history lesson, not as a reality'.

Meghan also implored the students to be 'part of a movement' of hope, adding that she can remember how people 'came together' during those times: 'We’re seeing that right now, from the sheriff in Michigan or the police chief in Virginia. We’re seeing people stand in solidarity, we are seeing communities come together and to uplift. And you are going to be part of this movement.'

She ended her video message with words of encouragement and pride.

'You’re going to use your voice in a stronger way than you have ever been able to because most of you are 18 - or you’re turning 18 - so you’re going to vote.

'You’re going to have empathy for those who don’t see the world through the same lens that you do. Because, with as diverse, vibrant and opened minded as I know the teachings are at Immaculate Heart, I know you know that Black lives matter.

'I am so proud to call each of you a fellow alumni and please know that I'm cheering you on all along the way. I am wishing you a huge congratulations on today, the start of all the impact you are going to make on the world as the leaders we so deeply crave.'

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