Meghan Markle has called the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police “absolutely devastating” as she spoke remotely to high school students at her Alma mater. The former Duchess of Sussex appeared virtually at the graduation ceremony of Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles Wednesday and told the students of the all-girl’s school “I know you know black lives matter ... we need you.”
"The only wrong thing to say, is to say nothing," she added. "Because George Floyd's life mattered."
She also apologized to the class of 2020 for having to experience what should be a "history lesson" as a "reality."
“I am so sorry that you have to grow up in a world where this is still present,” she said.
Markle also read the names of black people who had been killed in the country, and admitted there were many more who were unnamed.
The “Suits” actress also recalled what it was like growing up in Los Angeles during the 1992 Los Angeles riots following the video recording of Rodney King being beaten by police officers.
“I was 11 or 12 years old when I was just about to start Immaculate Heart Middle School in the fall, and it was the L.A. riots, which was also triggered by a senseless act of racism,” she recalled. “And 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.
"And I remember seeing men in the back of a van holding guns and rifles, and 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.”
She added that while “we have not gotten the world to the place that you deserve it to be,” this is the push for change. “The other thing, though, that I do remember about that time was how people came together and we are seeing that right now,” she added.
“Now you get to be part of rebuilding. And I know sometimes people say, 'how many times do we need to rebuild?' Well, you know what? We are going to rebuild and rebuild and rebuild until it is rebuilt. Because when the foundation is broken, so are we. You are going to lead with love, you are going to lead with compassion, you are going to use your voice,” she said.
She then urged the students to register to vote when they turn 18, saying to those who have turned 18 already, “you are going to use your voice in a stronger way than you've ever been able to.”