The members of South Korean pop group BTS shared their feelings about racial discrimination and criticized the recent rise of hate crimes against AAPI (Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders) in an emotional statement via Twitter. They also revealed their own experiences of prejudice and discrimination.
They began the statement by saying that they are sending deepest condolences to those who have lost their loved ones (this would refer to the Atlanta shootings earlier this month) due to the growing number of criminal attacks against Asians in the American society, and expressed that they’re against racial discrimination and condemn violence.
On March 16, eight people had their lives taken away in several shootings which happened at three spas in Atlanta – six of them were Asian females. Since 2020, Anti-Asian hate crimes have increased by almost 150%, according to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism.
The septet stated, “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. 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. What is happening right now cannot be dissociated from our identity as Asians.”
A couple weeks ago, trading card manufacturer Topps launched a sticker card illustration of BTS bandmates’ faces getting hit and bruised by a Grammy trophy on sale. Although the company issued an apology and later removed the card, many would still agree that this example only shows that anti-Asian violence and hate occur commonly and taken too lightly.
The K-pop group ended the statement by stating, “We stand against racial discrimination. We condemn violence. You, I and we all have the right to be respected. We will stand together.”
Asian celebrities including Sandra Oh, Steven Yeun, Eric Nam, CL and many others have spoken up and condemned the rising social issue of Anti-Asian hate.
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