Jordin Sparks speaks out about racial injustice: 'I have to say something'

"I just can't be afraid to offend people anymore, or to be misunderstood," the singer said when discussing the need for racial equality.
Celebrities Visit Build - July 17, 2019
Jordin Sparks Roy Rochlin / Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

Jordin Sparks says the time has come for her to take a stand about the issues that matter to her.

"I've always been one of those people that fears being misunderstood. I don’t like being misunderstood because I would never intentionally try and hurt somebody's feelings or try and offend anyone," she told SiriusXM's "The Joe Madison Show" on Tuesday when asked if she has ever felt any pressure to be non-political because she’s an entertainer.

The “American Idol” winner, who is half white and half Black, is married to Dana Isaiah, a Black man. They have a son, DJ, 2. She said her background, coupled with recent events that have sprung up in the wake of George Floyd’s death, have forced her to be vocal about the issue of racial equality.

"I have been nervous to speak on things, a lot of times throughout my career,” she said. “And I feel like this moment in time for me, especially being mixed, and especially having a Black husband and a son that the world is going to view as Black as well, even though he’s got lighter skin and blue eyes, he’s still going to be a Black kid, you know what I’m saying?

“And for me, it was just like, you know what? Basically, expletive this. F this. I can't, I cannot, I just can't, I cannot not say anything. I have to say something. And that's where I am at this point in my life. I just can't be afraid to offend people anymore, or to be misunderstood."

Sparks, 30, discussed how she attended a protest and was moved by one person in the crowd.

"I saw this white woman who had a backpack," Sparks said, while noting the woman had a sign on it that said "If the police get violent, stand behind me. I have first aid in my backpack."

"I got choked up walking 'cause I was like, that's how you use your voice," Sparks said. "That's how you use your white privilege. You come in and you help, and you stand for your brothers and sisters in this world, you know? And it was just so amazing. And so for me, there was a lot of hope that I took from that."

"There's still a lot of frustration and anger obviously, because it's not going to be changed in a day, but this is a movement," she said. "This is not stopping."

Sparks also said Floyd’s death resonated with her.

"That could've been my brother. It could have been my cousins," she said, explaining that afterward, she was inspired her to protest and speak out. "So, it was the conversations that I had with my husband, thinking about my family and also my son, because I was out there so my son's future can be better than this. It's gotta be better than this."