The actress was honored Saturday with an Ally for Equality Award.
Meryl Streep gave a blistering speech about the current state of political well-being among Americans and their rights on Saturday night.
Honored at the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) awards gala, the Oscar-winning actress extended what she only touched upon in her Golden Globes speech in January..
“If you think people got mad when they thought the government was coming after their guns, wait until they come and try to take away our happiness,” Streep said to a hall full of applauding people according to Variety.
She added: “We’re not going to go back to the bad old days of ignorance and oppression and hiding who we are.”
Clearly emotional and invigorated she continued, “We owe it to the people who have died for our rights, and who have died before they even got their own.”
Streep, received the HRC’s Ally for Equality Award, and said if anything, the new president has mobilized a unified movement.
“If we live through this precarious moment,” she said. “If [Trump’s] catastrophic instinct to retaliate doesn’t lead us to nuclear winter, we will have much to thank our current leader for. He will have woken us up to how fragile freedom is.”
At her acceptance speech on the Golden Globes, without naming names, Streep alluded to a to time during the presidential campaign when a disabled reporter was mocked: “disrespect invites disrespect,” she said from the podium at the time.
The next day, Trump in one of his trademark tweets called the legendary actress “overrated."
Streep responded to that sentiment in her speech on Saturday, “I am the most overrated and most over-decorated and currently — currently — I am the most over-berated actor…of my generation.”
Honoring the Emma Lazarus’ sonnet placed at the base of the Statue of Liberty, the versatile artist sang its words to attendees at the HRC dinner and recalled when a transgender teacher repeated them to her in her youth.
“We have the right to live our lives, with God or without, as we choose,” Streep said afterward. “There is a prohibition against the establishment of a state religion in our constitution, and we have the right to choose with whom we live, whom we love, and who and what gets to interfere with our bodies. As Americans, men, women, people, gay, straight, LGBTG. All of us have the human right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”