SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – K-pop superstar group BTS has condemned racism against Asians, Asian Americans and islanders in the Pacific, in a statement saying they witnessed it for themselves.
“We stand against racial discrimination,” BTS tweeted on Tuesday in English and Korean. The band said their own painful encounters with racism included “expletive” and “mockery for the way they look”.
BTS made its statement following recent attacks on people of Asian heritage in the United States, which increased during the coronavirus pandemic. A white shooter recently killed eight people, including six women of Asian descent, at massage companies in the Atlanta area.
“We cannot put into words the pain of being the object of hatred and violence,” the band said in the statement, adding that their experiences made them feel powerless and lost their self-esteem. In February, a German radio station caused anger when a presenter compared the band to the corona virus.
The band said that although the discrimination they endured was “trivial” compared to “events that have taken place in the past few weeks,” they felt a need to speak up. “What is happening right now cannot be separated from our identity as Asians.” said the band.
Many Asian Americans believe the Atlanta shootings were racially motivated. The police say they are still trying to investigate a motive.
Top-class stars of Asian origin such as Steven Yeun, Simon Liu and Sandra Oh have spoken out in favor of spreading awareness of anti-Asian violence. “I am proud to be Asian! We belong here, ”Oh shouted into a megaphone at a Stop Asian Hate rally in Pittsburgh last week.
BTS is one of the first South Korean bands to openly condemn anti-Asian racism. K-pop bands have been known to be cautious when it comes to sticking to the personas their labels create, who often silence stars on sensitive topics like race and mental health.
BTS has looked at racial discrimination and violence. In 2020, the band donated $ 1 million to the Black Lives Matter movement, which fans quickly reached within a day, according to One In An ARMY, a global fundraising team of BTS fans.
Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed in any way without permission.