After the death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in 2014, Lizzo had lost all hope for change. Today, however, she's "optimistic."
In a PEOPLE exclusive clip of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman, the "Truth Hurts" singer candidly speaks about racism and police brutality in America.
"We have another virus that's been with us for 400 years," Letterman, 73, says, before referring to the killing of George Floyd earlier this year. "There was a lynching is what that was. To me, it looked like this goon was happy to behave the way he behaved while being videotaped."
Lizzo, 32, then replies, admitting that she's been "heartbroken" by the mistreatment of Black people in the United States.
"I remember there was a murder of a young black person unarmed in Minneapolis down the street from my house, his name is Jamar Clark," shes says, referring to the 2015 killing of an unarmed Black man by police. "I wrote this song called 'My Skin' and I was very like 'we got to make a change.'"
"My Skin" features lyrics of Black empowerment. "I love you, don't you forget it, you beautiful Black masterpiece," Lizzo sings on the track.
"People were camping out from the precinct. We're getting shot at by God knows who. It was scary," she adds in the interview. "It was dark times."
The "Juice" star then refers to Rice, who was killed at the hands of police in 2015.
"People politicized it. How can you politicize the murder of a child?" she asks. "And I was so numb, that I lost all hope for any type of change in this country."
However, Lizzo admits that after the death of Floyd in June of this year, she admits that she "can't help but to be optimistic and hopeful" about change.
"Change is painful and I think you have to sign yourself up for that. This time, I saw something different, I saw the sudden allyship of young white people, which I had never seen," she says. "And I also saw people in the news realize that it's more than just a hashtag and a moment and us complaining and that it's real systemic poison."
"That got me for the first time a little helpful," she adds.
Lizzo has been an outspoken supporter for the Black Lives Matter movement. Following the killing of Floyd earlier this year, she shared a lengthy video message speaking about the tragedy.
"They don't actually care. And 'they' — I don't know who 'they' are. But I know that they don't care, because if s— like this is still happening, there has to be a 'they.' They don't care about somebody's actual life," she told Vogue for a cover story this month.
Lizzo's episode on My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman airs Oct. 21 on Netflix.
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