Thursday Jun 04, 2020
Meghan Markle delivered an emotional speech at the graduation ceremony of her former college while talking about the deeply-rooted systemic racial discrimination prevalent in the US.
The Duchess of Sussex talked about the ongoing scenario after a black man named George Floyd died in police custody, sparking a wave of protests around the country.
Meghan, who had earlier talked about enduring racism herself in an old video, termed Floyd's killing 'absolutely devastating.'
“What is happening in our country and in our state and in our hometown of LA 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,” she said.
“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 added.
In her six-minute address, Meghan also talked about how she had volunteered at the all-female school, during which one of her former teachers, Ms. Pollia, said to her, "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,” the former actress revealed. “I am so sorry that you have to grow up in a world where this is still present.”
Recalling how her hometown of LA was hit by riots when she was 11 or 12 years' old, Meghan 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.
“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.”