Meghan Markle shared her thoughts on the country's racial divide during a commencement speech for her former high school on Wednesday, Essence reported. In the almost six-minute video, the Duchess of Sussex shared personal accounts of living in Los Angeles as well as her thoughts on the current state of the country while speaking to the graduates.Markle addressed the graduating class of Immaculate Heart High School virtually. The former Suits actress started her speech by discussing the thoughts she had when crafting her words. Markle spent some time crafting what she would say and hesitated out of fear that her words would be dissected or misconstrued.
"The only wrong thing to say is to say nothing," she concluded.
Markle continued to explain.
"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 do not know."The duchess spoke of her time at the all-girls high school in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles, California. Before she left to do community service during her sophomore year, a teacher told her, "always remember to put other's needs above your own fears." Markle admitted to hanging on those words the past few weeks.
She continued to discuss her experience in Los Angeles during the riots of 1992. The duchess shared that during that time she saw men holding machine guns in vans and there was a tree in front of her house that was completely scorched from the fires.
"Those memories don't go away," the duchess shared.
Although she had those experiences and the country was divided, the duchess remained hopeful. Markle called out the positive stories that have come from this crisis. Markle mentioned some bright spots during this time including various police officers.
"We're seeing people stand in solidarity, we are seeing communities come together and to uplift," Markle told the graduates.
The duchess hoped that the graduates of her alma matter would be a further part of that change. While this graduation and the circumstances of the world may not have been what the graduates had envisioned, the duchess said there was a way to view the experience in a different light.
She challenged the alumnae to channel what they learned to create a positive impact in the world and to work on rebuilding. She told the women to go forth and lead.