BTS Speaks out on Anti-Asian Hate Crimes at the White House
Worldwide Korean Pop stars BTS spoke out on May 31st, 2022 at a press briefing regarding anti-Asian hate crimes, Asian inclusion, and diversity. Each member made a brief statement on the matter and then had a private meeting with President Biden regarding the issue.
Source: BBC News
BTS at the Whitehouse
On the last day of Asian American and Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander Heritage month, fans lined up outside the US White House in hopes to get a brief glance at BTS as they took the stage at the anti-Asian Hate press briefing. They weren't there to perform but to speak up about the impact of anti-Asian hate crimes that have increased since the beginning of the pandemic.
The enormity of BTS's fan base, formally known as “ARMY," has been known to create a positive stir around topics that the group supports. Therefore BTS is able to leverage their power and influence to bring attention to crucial topics such as anti-Asian hate crimes.
Source: The Diplomat
Anti-Asian Hate Crime Statistics
Since the beginning of COVID-19 there has been a significant rise in anti-asian hate crimes. According to NBC news, crimes targeting the Asian American community have reached unprecedented levels. They mention that the compilation of hate crime data, published by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, revealed that anti-Asian hate crime increased by 339% in 2021 compared to 2020. With statistics showing New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles surpassing their record numbers in 2020. World news era reported that since the start of the pandemic in March of 2020 11,000 cases of hate crimes have been reported.
BTS opens up that they have also been victims of anti-Asian discrimination themselves and openly spoke about the importance of diversity and inclusion.
This is also not the first time that BTS has spoken out about anti-Asian racism and discrimination. World news era quotes a tweet that the group wrote last march that states:
“We recall moments when we faced discrimination as Asians. We have endured expletives without reason and were even mocked for the way we look. We stand against racial discrimination."
Dressed in matching black suits, BTS's seven members - Jimin, J-Hope, Suga, Jungkook, V, Jin, and RM - each gave their own statement on the matter of anti-asian hate crimes at the May 31st press briefing.
~ Jimin ~
“We were devastated by the recent surge of hate crimes, including Asian American hate crimes. To put a stop on this and support the cause, we'd like to take this opportunity to voice ourselves once again.”
~ Suga ~
"It's not wrong to be different, maybe equality begins when we open up and embrace all of our differences.
~ V ~
“Everyone has their own history, we hope today is one step forward to respecting and understanding each and everyone one as a valuable person.”
~ J-Hope ~
“We are here once again thanks to our army, our fans worldwide, who have different nationalities and cultures and use different languages. We are truly and always grateful.”
~ Jungkook ~
“We are still surprised that music created by South Korean artists reaches so many people around the world, transcending language and cultural barriers. We believe music is always an amazing and wonderful unifier of all things.”
BTS is known for speaking out on topics that they feel passionately about, because of this they are able to make a positive impact on people all over the world and are thereby able to create awareness for those who deserve it the most.
Source: Teen Vogue
World News Era: