Meghan Markle is speaking out about the state of our country in a special commencement to her alma mater.
On Wednesday, the Duchess of Sussex made a surprise speech to the graduating class of Immaculate Heart High School (where she attended) at their virtual ceremony. During the five minute address, which the 38-year-old shared with media outlets, she opened up about police brutality, racism and the devastating murder of George Floyd that has ignited protests around the world.
“I wasn’t sure what I could say to you. I wanted to say the right thing and I was really nervous that I wouldn’t, or that it would get picked apart,” she said in the clip. “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."
Markle also spoke about the importance of turning 18 and being able to vote as well as the riots she experienced (in 1992) when she was just eleven years old.
“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. You’re going to have empathy for those who don’t see the world through the same lens that you do,” she continued before recalling the riots.
“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, and seeing people run out of buildings carrying bags and looting. I remember seeing men in the back of a van just holding guns and rifles. I remember pulling up to the house and seeing the tree, that had always been there, completely charred. And those memories don’t go away. I am sorry that in a way we have not gotten to the place where you deserve it to be.”
According to the duchess, there is still hope. She went on to say that today's youth are the inspiration we all need right now.
“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.”
Powerful words, indeed.