Superstar group BTS shares experiences of racism

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K-pop boy band BTS visits the SiriusXM Studios on Feb. 21, 2020, in New York.

CINDY ORD/GETTY IMAGES FOR SIRIUS XM/TNS

BY MURI ASSUNÇÃO
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS/TNS

Global music sensation BTS is speaking out against anti-Asian discrimination.

On March 30, members of the K-pop superstar group shared a deeply personal message with their more than 34 million Twitter followers condemning the increasing violence against Asians, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

“We send our deepest condolences to those who have lost their loved ones,” the group said in the statement written in both English and Korean. “We feel grief and anger.”

The seven-member music group who exploded onto the international scene in 2017, breaking Spotify, YouTube and U.S. chart records in the process, is one of the first South Korean bands to release a statement condemning racism, according to The Associated Press. Artists in the multi-billion-dollar K-pop industry mostly stay away for more controversial topics, such as mental health and racial relations.

Appearance mocked

But in a statement that was retweeted nearly 900,00 times in less than 24 hours, members of “the biggest band in the world,” according to Time, shared that they’ve also experienced hatred and prejudice.

“We have endured expletives without reason and were mocked for the way we look,” the group wrote in the joint statement. “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,” they continued. “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.”

‘Stand together’

BTS’s statement comes amid an increase in anti-Asian sentiment in parts of the country. Earlier this month, 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long was arrested in Atlanta after a series of shootings left eight people dead. Most of the victims were Asian women.

“What is happening right now cannot be dissociated from our identity as Asians,” the group wrote.

“It required considerable time for us to discuss this carefully and we contemplated deeply on how we should voice our message. But what our voice must convey is clear,” they added.

“We stand against racial discrimination. We condemn violence. You, I, and we all have the right to be respected. We will stand together.”

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