Meghan Markle knew she had to address the death of George Floyd when she addressed graduating students of her alma mater in L.A. The commencement speech came as a surprise to the virtual attendees.
"She had planned to share a heartfelt congratulations to the class of 2020, who have worked so hard over the past four years, by sharing some words of support, encouragement, and offering some memories of her own time at the school," a spokesperson for Meghan said. "However, in the video message she shared, 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."
In her six-minute address, she discussed her feelings about the unrest that is rocking the country, and memories of the 1992 L.A. race riots that she lived through as a child.
Meghan said: ["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. 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.”] SOUNDCUE (:50 OC: . . .we do not know.)
Of her own experiences, she said: "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.”
The 38-year-old added: "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. I am sorry that in a way we have not gotten to the place where you deserve it to be."
But she ended on a note of hope: “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. 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."
Meghan Markle on George Floyd :