WASHINGTON, DC (CelebrityAccess) – The world’s current best-selling artists (outselling Drake, Taylor Swift, and Justin Bieber in 2021), BTS (Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V, and Jungkook), used their platform to discuss anti-Asian hate alongside White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Tuesday (May 31) as Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month came to an end.
Crimes targeting Asian Americans on US soil have risen dramatically amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the news reporting that coronavirus came out of a lab located in Wuhan, China. According to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism report, Asian American hate crimes have risen 339% since 2019. The septet set of boy-band members has vowed to help President Joe Biden take on the issue.
“We’re BTS and it is a great honor to be invited to the White House tonight to discuss the important issues of anti-Asian hate crimes, Asian inclusion and diversity.”
— ABC News Live (@ABCNewsLive) May 31, 2022
“It’s not wrong to be different,” Suga said through an interpreter. “Maybe equality begins when we open up and embrace all of our differences.” RM kicked off the message with, “Hi, we’re BTS. It is a great honor to be invited to the White House today to discuss the important issues of anti-Asian hate crimes, Asian inclusion, and diversity.”
In addition to Suga and RM above, each member had their turn at the microphone:
Jungkook: “We still feel surprised that music created by South Korean artists reaches to many people around the world, transcending languages and cultural barriers. Music is always an amazing and wonderful unifier of all things.”
Jimin: “We were devastated by the recent surge of hate crimes, including Asian American hate crimes, but to put a stop to this and support the cause, we’d like to take this opportunity to voice ourselves once again.”
J-Hope: “We’ve endured expletives without reason and have been mocked for our appearance. We cannot put into words the pain of becoming the subject of hatred and violence for such a reason.”
Jin: “This AAPI Heritage Month, we join the White House to stand with the AAHPI community and to celebrate.”
V concluded their time ending with:
“We hope today is one step forward to respecting and understanding each and everyone as a valuable person. EVERYONE HAS THEIR OWN HISTORY.”
The group struck an impressive picture – all dressed in black suits and standing together in solidarity. They did not take any questions from reporters before leaving the White House platform to meet with President Biden.
For resources on how to support the AAPi community, visit AACAP’s website HERE.