Members of K-pop sensation BTS have expressed “grief and anger” amid the rise of hate crimes toward Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in recent months.
The South Korean group tweeted a statement supporting the #StopAsianHate movement on March 29.
— 방탄소년단 (@BTS_twt) March 30, 2021
“We send our deepest condolences to those who have lost their loved ones,” they wrote. “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.”
Asian communities in the U.S. and in other parts of the world have witnessed an increase in discrimination since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thousands of cases, which have ranged from verbal attacks to deadly physical assaults, have been documented over the last year, as NextShark previously reported.
In February, BTS and their label, BigHit, shared their experiences with biased treatment while in the U.S. The first issue of Weverse Magazine revealed that BTS received a racist comment on SiriusXM’s “The Howard Stern Show” in New York on Feb. 21, with writer Salvatore “Sal” Governale claiming that BTS was carrying the coronavirus.
“We cannot put into words the pain of becoming the subject of hatred and violence for such a reason,” the group said. “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.”
Their message, which was written in both Korean and English, featured the hashtags #StopAsianHate and #StopAAPIHate. Before taking to social media, the group said that they first discussed how to best express their solidarity with the AAPI community.
“But what our voice must convey is clear,” their message declared. “We stand against racial discrimination. We condemn violence. You, I and we all have the right to be respected. We will stand together.”
Feature Image via HYBE Labels