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Grammy-nominated Korean pop stars BTS have spoken out in support of the Asian-American community, condemning anti-Asian violence and calling for AAPI hate to stop.
“What is happening right now cannot be dissociated from our identity as Asians,” the seven-member group said in a tweet.
“We stand against racial discrimination. We condemn violence. You, I, and we all have the right to be respected. We will stand together.”
The band also sent condolences to those who had lost loved ones, saying that they felt “grief and anger.” They also recalled moments where they, too, had faced discrimination for being Asian.
“We have endured expletives without reason and were mocked for the way we look. We were even asked why Asians spoke in English,” they said.
“We cannot put into words the pain of becoming the subject of hatred and violence [for being Asian]. 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.”
The band was speaking in the aftermath of a wave of violence against Asian-Americans.
Most recently, a mass shooting at spas in metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia, ended in the deaths of eight people, including six Asian women. Incidences of anti-Asian hate crimes, particularly those involving elderly Asian people, have skyrocketed this year.
This is not the first time BTS has made a statement against violence. Earlier this year they pledged to donate $1 million to UNICEF’s anti-violence movement in 2021, renewing their commitment to the “Love Myself” campaign that they kickstarted in 2017.