“Equality begins when we open up and embrace all our differences”
BTS continues to strongly fight for real world change, and this time, it’s against hate crimes being committed against Asians. The Korean boy band joined White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Tuesday to deliver a heartfelt and powerful speech against growing Asian-targeted hate crimes in the United States. It was a perfect closing as AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) Heritage Month came to an end.
What BTS Said
BTS leader RM (Kim Namjoon) introduced the band. He spoke about the honor in being invited to the White House to discuss such an important issue. Aside from Asian hate crimes, they also needed to bring importance to Asian inclusion and diversity. Jin continued by saying that they are joining the White House to stand with the AAHPI community and celebrating with them. Next came Jimin, who said that they are devastated by the hate crimes directed at Asian-Americans and they are voicing themselves to put an end to it.
Next up was J-Hope who made sure to thank their fanbase, known as ARMY. He spoke about the ARMY coming from different nationalities, cultures, and speaking different languages. Jungkook took the mic next, saying they are still surprised that music created by South Korean artists have reached so many people. He said that BTS believed music to be the unifier of all things.
Next, it was Suga’s turn. He said it was not wrong to be different, and that equality begins when we open up and embrace all of our differences. V gave the closing, saying everyone has their own history, and they hope everyone moves forward respecting and understanding each other.
The Crime Data
The data provided by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism showed that anti-Asian hate crimes rose by 339 percent in 2021 compared to 2020. BTS must be given special mention for using their influence so efficiently, and hope the crime rates fall.