Bangtan Sonyeondan also known as BTS visited the White House last Tuesday and discussed hate crimes targeted toward Asians with President Joe Biden.
On the final day of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the members joined White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre for a press conference.
They were given a tour of the White House before the briefing and then had a closed-door meeting with the president in the Oval Office.
Since its debut in 2013, BTS has gained international acclaim for its self-produced music and activism, which included a UN appearance.
The band was nominated for Grammys, Billboard Music Awards, and MTV Video Music Awards in 2020, and they topped the Billboard Hot 100 list three times. Journalists covering BTS crammed the aisles alongside the rows of seats allotted to outlets that routinely attend, making the normally crowded White House briefing room considerably more crowded than usual, and the White House webcast had over 230,000 watchers.
Brian Deese, director of the White House National Economic Council, who was on hand to speak to reporters following Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s earlier meeting with Biden followed BTS.
“I get to go home and tell my kids that BTS opened for me,” Deese jokingly said.
Anti-Asian hate crimes and discrimination have escalated since 2020, with eight people, including six Asian women, killed in Atlanta-area massage parlors in March 2021.Following the shootings, Asian American organizations around the country held rallies and used social media to demand an end to racist attacks.
“We stand against racial discrimination” and included the hashtags #StopAsianHate and #StopAAPIHate” the band tweeted.
“We condemn violence. You, I and we all have the right to be respected. We will stand together,” BTS wrote.
“We still feel surprised that music created by South Korean artists reaches so many people around the world, transcending language and cultural barriers,” Jungkook said, thanking all their fans.
“We believe music is always an amazing and wonderful unifier of all things,” the singer and BTS member added.
BTS hopes to “fight prejudice, xenophobia, and intolerance” that Asian communities have endured, according to Jean-Pierre.
She pointed out that Biden signed legislation to combat COVID-19 hate crimes and issued an executive order re-establishing the White House effort on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders, as well as supporting studies to reduce racism against these groups.