Meghan Markle Speaks Up: 'The Only Wrong Thing To Say Is To Say Nothing'
Meghan Markle gave a powerful graduation address that is exactly what today’s youth needs to hear
In a surprise graduation address delivered by video, Meghan Markle has spoken out about the death of George Floyd, the ensuing protests, and Black Lives Matter. The video address was given to the 2020 graduating class at her alma mater, Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles, and in it, she spoke directly about the events of the last few weeks, urging young people that, “The only wrong thing to say is nothing.”
“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 began. “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.”
She continued, “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. 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.”
Markle also spoke about growing up during the LA riots that followed the police beating of Rodney King. “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,” she said. “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.”
But she ended her address with hope for the youth who are watching these events unfold as they enter adulthood.
“You are going to lead with love, you are going to lead with compassion, you are going to use your voice,” Markle said. “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.”
Since stepping back from their royal duties late last year, Markle and her husband, Prince Harry, have reportedly been living in Los Angeles. As the first person of color to be part of the modern royal family, Markle has often used her platform to fight racism and injustice.