Meghan Markle Speaks Out Against Racism In Graduation Speech To Her Alma Mater: George Floyd’s Life Mattered
Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle recently broke her media silence in a heartfelt speech as the keynote speaker for her alma mater – all-girls school Immaculate Heart High School. As a notable alumna alongside the likes of Tyra Banks, Mary Tyler Moore, and Yara Shahidi – Meghan Markle reportedly changed her speech at the last minute to tailor the message to the chaotic times of the nationwide race riots. A source close to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry said this:
“This is something that is incredibly personal to Meghan, especially given everything she has experienced. And as a couple it is, of course, very important. They are both feeling it, just like the rest of us.”
The source continued:
“She felt compelled to directly address and speak to these young women about what’s happening in this country right now around the killing of George Floyd—as well as what’s been happening over many, many years and many, many generations to countless other black Americans…Harry and Meghan have been having private conversations with community leaders and people at every level, as well as friends and family, about this issue since the start of recent events. By speaking to as many people and organizations as possible, it has been a way for them to feel connected to everything that’s going on and learn more about the issues surrounding it.”
Meghan boldly took a stance while addressing the high school graduates, declaring that black lives matter:
“For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been planning on saying a few words to you for your graduation and as we all have seen over the past few weeks, what is happening in our country and in our state and in our hometown of L.A. has been absolutely devastating. And 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, 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 don’t know. Stephon Clark. His life mattered…One of my teachers, Ms. Pollia, said to me, ‘Always remember to put others 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 proceeded to recall her own memories of being a middle schooler during the 1992 Los Angeles race riots, triggered by the violent beating of Rodney King:
“The first thing I want to say to you is that I’m sorry. I’m so sorry you have to grow up in a world where this is still present…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 to the house and seeing the tree that had always been there, completely charred. And those memories don’t go away.”
Meghan Markle left Immaculate Heart High School with these words:
“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, because most of you are 18, or you’re going to turn 18, so you’re 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, vibrant, and open-minded as I know the teachings at Immaculate Heart are, I know you know that Black lives matter. You are equipped, you are ready, we need you, and you’re prepared.”
— TV Fanatic??? (@Khaleesi_Hodan) June 4, 2020
She later trended on Twitter for her compassionate speech. Check out a few reactions below.
What do you think about Meghan Markle’s Class of 2020 address? Let us know in the comments!