The K-pop sensation BTS is en route to the White House. The seven-member South Korean boyband will meet with President Joe Biden on Tuesday to discuss rising anti-Asian hate incidents and round out AANHPI Heritage Month.
“President Biden has previously spoken about his commitment to combating the surge of anti-Asian hate crimes,” a White House statement said. “President Biden and BTS will also discuss the importance of diversity and inclusion and BTS’ platform as youth ambassadors who spread a message of hope and positivity across the world.”
BTS has been vocal about anti-Asian hate in the past, speaking about it during their post-pandemic tours and in statements to social media.
“We stand against racial discrimination,” the band said in a statement, which was shared on the group’s Twitter last year. “We condemn violence. You, I and we all have the right to be respected. We will stand together.”
Individual group members said they've even experienced discrimination themselves.
“We recall moments when we faced discrimination as Asians,” the twitter statement said. “We have endured expletives without reason and were mocked for the way we look. We were even asked why Asians speak English.”
Fans, known as the BTS ARMY, were thrilled at the prospect of seeing the group in Washington. “So proud of you BTS” trended on Twitter Thursday morning.
“When BTS said they want to spread love and positivity, they meant it,” one fan tweeted. “Their music, their participation in campaigns against hate and violence are proof, their donations that we’d only know about when the recipients confirm it… ‘no need to talk the talk, just walk the walk.’”