Meghan Markle speaks out over killing of George Floyd: ‘The only wrong thing to say is to say nothing’

‘George Floyd’s life mattered,’ says Duchess

Olivia Petter
Thursday 04 June 2020 08:38 BST
'I am sorry' Meghan Markle gives passionate speech to pupils of her former high school following George Floyd death

The Duchess of Sussex has spoken out over the death of George Floyd in a virtual address to graduating students at her former high school, Immaculate Heart, in Los Angeles.

In her five-minute-long address, which was delivered on Wednesday evening and obtained by Essence, Meghan described recent events in the US as “absolutely devastating”.

“I wasn’t sure what I could say to you,” the 38-year-old continued before going on to reference Mr Floyd along with other victims of police brutality.

“I wanted to say the right thing. I realised 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.”

The Duchess also referred to the lives of “so many other people” whose names we don’t know.

Meghan went on to credit a teacher from the school for giving her the courage to speak out for what she believes in.

“One of my teachers, Ms. Pollia, said to me, ‘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,” she said.

The mother-of-one also spoke about the Los Angeles riots that took place in 1992 after four police officers, filmed severely beating black taxi driver Rodney King, were acquitted of assault.

“I was 11 or 12 years old and it was the LA Riots, which was also triggered by senseless act of racism,” 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… I remember seeing men in the back of a van just holding guns and rifles.

“I remember pulling up at the house and seeing the tree, that had always been there, completely charred. And those memories don’t go away.”

Meghan concluded her virtual address with a note of optimism.

“We’re seeing people stand in solidarity, we are seeing communities come together and to uplift,” she said.

“You are going to be part of this movement.”

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