Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex—still commonly referred to as Meghan Markle—has spoken out about racism and the recent murder of George Floyd.
On May 25, Floyd—a 46-year-old Black man—was killed by white Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
Amid ongoing protests across the U.S., Chauvin has now been charged with second-degree murder. The three other officers present are facing counts of aiding and abetting murder.
“George Floyd’s life mattered,” the Duchess of Sussex said in a video, which was shown during a virtual graduation ceremony at her old high school, Immaculate Heart high school in Los Angeles.
She said she hadn’t been sure what to say at first, but realized “the only wrong thing to say is to say nothing.”
“Breonna Taylor’s life mattered,” she continued. Taylor, who would now be 27-years-old, was killed two months ago by police in Louisville, Kentucky. She was shot eight times. The suspect they were looking for was already in police custody, reports Sky News. Currently, no arrests have been made.
Meghan went on to list other Black Americans—12-year-old Tamir Rice, 32-year-old Philando Castile, and 22-year-old Stephon Clarke—who were also shot and killed by the police. According to Mapping Police Violence, Black Americans are nearly three times more likely to be killed by the police than white Americans.
“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 do not know. Stephon Clarke, his life mattered,” she added.
‘Remember to Put Other’s Needs Above Your Own Fears’
During her speech, Meghan urged young people to help “rebuild.” She said, as they were turning 18, they could use their voices “in a stronger way than you have ever been able to.”
She also referred to what she was told by a teacher at the high school, which was to “always remember to put others’ needs above your own fears.” She said: “that has stuck with me my entire life and I have thought it more in the last week than ever before.”
She also said: “I am so sorry that you have to grow up in a world where [racism] is still present. I am so sorry that in a way we have not gotten the world to the place that you deserve it to be.”