K-pop supergroup BTS visits the White House


K-pop giant BTS appeared at the White House press conference on Tuesday and will meet with them President Joe Biden As part of a visit aimed at discussing Asian inclusion and representation and tackling anti-Asian hate crimes and disinformation.

“While many of you may know BTS as international Grammy-nominated icons, they also play an important role as youth ambassadors promoting a message of respect and positivity,” White House Press Secretary Karen-Jean-Pierre said.

Each boy band member spoke on the stage – mostly in Korean – after Jean-Pierre’s introduction. RM, the group’s leader and the only member of the band who speaks fluent English, began by thanking Jean-Pierre for her “kind words”, introducing the group.

He said, “Hello, we are BTS and it is a great honor to be invited to the White House today to discuss important issues related to hate crimes against Asia, Asian integration and diversity.”

The rest of the group, who spoke through an interpreter, said they had “joined the White House to stand with the ‘AAPI community’ and to celebrate.”

We have been devastated by the recent rise in hate crimes, including Asian American hate crimes. To put an end to this and support the cause, we would like to take this opportunity to express ourselves again,” the translator said. “We are here today thanks to our military – our fans all over the world – who have different nationalities and cultures and use different languages.”

The members said the group remains “amazed that music created by South Korean artists has reached so many people around the world, transcending languages ​​and cultural barriers.” “We think music is always a wonderful and wonderful unifier of all things.”

The group will also film “digital content” for the White House’s social media channels, according to a White House official.

Their meeting with Biden in the Oval Office will be closed to reporters.

The group’s visit comes days after Biden returned from his first trip to Asia as president, which included a three-day layover in Seoul and meetings with newly elected South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol.

The group achieved international success with songs such as “ghee” And “Dynamite” and their fans, who call themselves “the army”, stretch across the world.

Last year, amid a spate of anti-Asian hate crimes in the US, including a shooting at three Atlanta-area spas, BTS spoke about their own experience with discrimination.

“We remember the moments when we faced discrimination as Asians. We’ve endured insults for no reason and been made fun of for the way we look,” the band said in a statement retweeted over a million times.

And they continued, “We cannot say in words the pain of becoming an object of hatred and violence for this reason.”

The escalation in anti-Asian crime and hostility toward Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) comes amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Over 10,000 hate incidents against people from AAPI were reported to Stop AAPI Hate Defense between March 19, 2020 and December 31, 2021.

The White House indicated in a press release in which the White House announced that Biden “earlier spoke of his commitment to combating the escalation of hate crimes against Asia.” He signed a bipartisan bill aimed at tackling the rise in hate crimes against Asia into law in May 2021. It would create a new position in the Department of Justice to expedite review of potential Covid-19-related hate crimes and incidents reported in the federation. Or the state or local level.

The Biden White House and BTS added, “They will also discuss the importance of diversity and inclusion and the BTS platform as youth ambassadors who spread a message of hope and positivity around the world.”