Meghan Markle Tells 2020 Graduates: ‘George Floyd’s Life Mattered’

Meghan Markle (Credit: Shutterstock)

Meghan Markle delivered a virtual speech to 2020 graduates at her former California high school, and spoke of racism and police brutality as protests sweep the nation following George Floyd’s death at the hands of a Minneapolis Police officer.

“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,” Markle told students this week at Immaculate Heart High School amid growing calls for an end to police brutality in the U.S.

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“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,” she added in a video posted by Harper’s Bazaar.

“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,” Markle told students.

“I know you know that black lives matter,” she added.

The duchess of Sussex drew comparisons between the current civil unrest and the 1992 riots in Los Angeles after the Rodney King beating.

“I was 11 or 12 years old when I was just about to start IHMS in the fall and it was the L.A. riots, which were also triggered by a senseless act of racism,” Markle 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 buildings and looting and seeing men in the back of the van just holding guns and rifles,” she said. “That’s something you should have an understanding of. But an understanding of as a history lesson, not as your reality.”

Markle and husband Prince Harry relocated to Los Angeles in March after stepping down from their royal duties.