BTS (방탄소년단) is one of the world’s biggest boy bands, especially in Asia, and the group has taken to social media to address the ongoing racism and discrimination Asians face within society.
The Korean idols sent a heartfelt message together with the #StopAsianHate and #StopAAPIHate in both Korean and English. Seeing one of the biggest Asian talents addressing this situation feels very empowering and uplifting for all of us who are Asians.
The message is filled with grief and rage for Asians who have lost their loved ones due to ongoing hate crimes against them, especially in the West. Moreover, BTS members have collectively shared their own encounters with racial discrimination in a very strong statement of encouragement.
“We send our deepest condolences to those who have lost their loved ones. We feel grief and anger,” read the statement. It then proceeded, “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.”
BTS’s statement continued, “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”.
The group mentioned whatever is currently happening cannot be separated from the identity of Asians. They also explained how they discussed this situation carefully to create a message that conveyed their thoughts appropriately.
BTS ended their statement of unity stating, “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”.
— 방탄소년단 (@BTS_twt) March 30, 2021
This year, a few racist remarks and crude jokes were used against the boys. Recently, Bayern 3 presenter Mattias Matuschik targeted the K-pop group by comparing them to the Covid-19 pandemic. On 16th March, collectible company Topps illustrated BTS with bruised and battered faces for their latest card collection.
Also, just a few days ago, 39-year-old YouTuber Keemstar and rapper Void collaborated together in a diss track against K-pop fans and mentioned BTS in the video, specifically Jimin (지민), in the song. The YouTuber is known to be very discriminative towards K-pop and its fans. Moreover, Keemstar also indirectly attacked the idols using racial remarks as well.
Unfortunately, this is very common among popular YouTubers who see no wrong in casually spewing out Asian slurs that could indirectly harm Asian people.
Just two weeks ago on 16th March, a series of shootings took place at three Atlanta spas or massage parlors that resulted in eight people getting killed. Among the eight people murdered were six Asian women.
Since 2020, anti-Asian hate crimes have been steadily increasing and many other Asian celebrities have taken to social media to raise awareness of Asian hate crimes that are happening around the world, mainly in the USA.
BTS and their fans (ARMY) have expressed numerous times that racism is never an opinion and that racism, xenophobia, or any forms of discrimination would not be tolerated. We do not stand with racism!
In the meantime, watch out for BTS’s newly released Japanese single “Film Out” coming on 2nd April.