Meghan Markle Supports #BlackLivesMatter Movement and Says George Floyd's Life Mattered in a Speech

On Wednesday evening, Duchess Meghan took part in a remote address of the graduating class of Immaculate Heart High School. During her commencement speech, the royal took the time to address George Floyd’s death.

This week, Duchess Meghan had the pleasure of addressing the graduate class of her former high school, Immaculate Heart, which she attended from age 11 to 18. In an impassioned virtual address, the royal noted: “George Floyd’s life mattered and Breonna Taylor’s life mattered and Philando Castile’s life mattered.”

The all-girls high school is located in Los Feliz, Los Angeles. Floyd, Taylor, and Castile were all Black people who died in the hands of police officers.

Duchess Meghan at the Australian Geographic Society Awards on October 26, 2018 | Photo: Paul Edwards - Pool/Getty Images

Duchess Meghan at the Australian Geographic Society Awards on October 26, 2018 | Photo: Paul Edwards - Pool/Getty Images

ADDRESSING RACISM

Floyd was the latest victim to die on May 25, 2020, when a Minneapolis policeman knelt on his neck while he was cuffed on the floor. The police officer refused to get off even when the victim made a plea for his life saying he couldn't breathe.

You are going to be part of this movement

During her speech, Meghan revealed that she wasn’t sure what to say and was “nervous” but “wanted to say the right thing.” She explained how she realized that she would be wrong if she didn’t speak about the three latest victims of police brutality and racial profiling.

A LIFE LESSON FROM A TEACHER

Meghan apologized to the graduates "that we have not gotten the world to the place that you deserve it to be." The Duchess of Sussex noted how all their lives had mattered including many others “whose names we do not know.”

She shared with the students how a teacher at Immaculate Heart had helped her find her own voice. Meghan credited Ms. Pollia for telling her: “‘Always remember to put other’s needs above your own fears’” and how that statement had stayed with her since.

THE LOS ANGELES RIOTS

She revealed how she’d been thinking about more in the last week. The former “Suits” actress also recalled the time of the Los Angeles Riots in 1992, when she was around 11 or 12.

She remembered how the riots were “triggered by senseless act of racism.” At the time, people were given a curfew and the royal recalled driving back home and seeing the effects of the riots.

THE EFFECTS OF THE RIOTS

She remembered, “seeing ash fall from the sky and smelling the smoke and seeing the smoke billow out of buildings.” Her memories included a van with men sitting in the back holding guns and rifles.

She recalled reaching her home and seeing their tree burnt up to a crisp. Meghan confessed how those memories never went away.

BLACK LIVES MATTER

However, she also noted the other side of the current movement including, “The sheriff in Michigan or the police chief in Virginia.” How these people were standing in solidarity with protestors and communities were coming together and uplifting each other.

The royal stated to the students: “You are going to be part of this movement.” She showed her support for the movement and the teaching at her former school by adding:

“I know you know that Black lives matters.”

BELIEVING IN THE CHILDREN

Meghan shared her belief in the teenagers using their voices by voting. She acknowledged how the students would be empathetic “for those who don’t see the world through the same lens that you do.”

STUDENTS ARE READY

The royal told the graduates that they were now ready as there are needed and “prepared.” This wasn’t the first time Meghan addressed racism in public.

SPEAKING ABOUT RACISM

Earlier in the week, an old video resurfaced online showing her discussing her experiences of racism.  At the time, in 2012, the duchess was taking part in a campaign where she spoke about her hopes for her future children and her love of Los Angeles.

Her best friend, Jessica Mulroney, recently announced that she was taking a break from social media to educate herself by “listening and learning.”

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