BTS, one of the world’s largest K-pop bands, is speaking out on the rise of anti-Asian violence following recent and deadly acts of racial discrimination in the US. In a new post shared to social media, the group comprised of Jungkook, V, Jimin, Jin, Suga, RM, and J-Hope condemned hate crimes based on race while opening up about the times they’ve faced discrimination.
The statement, posted to Twitter alongside hashtags #StopAsianHate and #StopAAPIHate on Monday, read:
“We send our deepest condolences to those who have lost their loved ones. We feel grief and anger. We recall moments when we faced discrimination as Asians. We have endured expletives without reason and were mocked for the way we look. We were even asked why Asians spoke in English.”
Likely referring to the Atlanta spa shootings earlier this month which took the lives of eight innocent people, including six Asian women, the singers’ expressed immense grief for the lives lost in these acts of violence deeply rooted in bias and bigotry. The popular boy band shared:
“We cannot put into words the pain of becoming the subject of hatred and violence for such a reason. Our own experiences are inconsequential compared to the events that have occurred over the past few weeks. But these experiences were enough to make us feel powerless and chip away our self-esteem.”
While we completely understand their sentiment, no instances of bullying that lower self-esteem are ever truly “inconsequential.” Violence (physical or verbal) is never appropriate!
The South Korean stars pointed out that while it may have been easier for them to stay silent on the rise of hate crimes against their community, they “cannot be disassociated from our identity as Asians.” Considering the fact that a recent California State University study found that crimes against Asians rose by 149% in 16 of America’s largest cities last year — likely due to Donald Trump‘s racist rhetoric surrounding the coronavirus in his last months in office — the Dynamite vocalists “contemplated deeply on how we should voice our message.”
— 방탄소년단 (@BTS_twt) March 30, 2021
Knowing their words carry great weight within the world at large and music industry, the Grammy nominees concluded in the (above) post:
“But what our voice must convey is clear. We stand against racial discrimination. We condemn violence. You, I and we all have the right to be respected. We will stand together.”
It truly is so heartbreaking to continue to hear from beloved stars and members within the Asian community about the absolutely f**ked up hatred they’ve been met with on a daily basis all because our former President blamed them for a virus he was too selfish to put a real effort into controlling. BTS’ experiences are just a clear example that no matter how popular people are, there’s a real issue with racism in the country. We continue to stand with the Asian community fighting to #StopAsianHate.