In light of recent awareness towards anti-Asian hate, K-pop group BTS have spoken out about their own experiences of racism.
BTS released a statement on Twitter today which addressed the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes across America.
The #StopAsianHate movement gained momentum on March 16, following the Atlanta attacks, where eight people were killed in a shooting rampage at three separate spas.
Six of the eight victims were Asian women, and four were of Korean descent.
The statement said:
“We send our deepest condolences to those who have lost their loved ones. We feel grief and anger,” BTS wrote.
“We cannot put into words the pain of becoming the subject of hatred and violence for such reason.
“Our own experiences are inconsequential compared to the events that have occurred over the past few weeks. But these experiences are enough to make us feel powerless and chip away our self-esteem.”
“We have endured expletives without reason and were mocked for the way we look. We were even asked why Asians spoke in English. What is happening right now cannot be disassociated from our identity as Asians.”
It was only two weeks ago that Topps, the card manufacturer removed a cartoon that depicted BTS as bruised and beaten by a Grammy, (whack-a-mole style) for their 2021 ‘Shammy Awards’ collection. The fact that the card had been approved in the first place raises concerns about how normalised anti-Asian hate is in society.
— Topps (@Topps) March 17, 2021
BTS’ open letter on Twitter was met with support by fans and influential people, especially those of Asian descent.
Very few people have more influence around the world than @BTS_twt and the #BTSARMY. Thank you for using your platform to speak up and share your experience. #대한민국화이팅 #stopasianhate https://t.co/5ZmLDdfJJw
— Daniel Dae Kim (@danieldaekim) March 30, 2021
— rane (@afshr_ryhn) March 30, 2021
I’m Brazilian Taiwanese Army. Lived in the US, now in UK , I still feel I don’t belong, tht I’m tolerated, excluded & discriminated bc of my accent or for not being British enough. Please spread kindness. I stan BTS for their artistry & i feel represented & proud #StopAsianHate pic.twitter.com/Em3cZlF6WH
— ᴮᴱGigi⁷ᴳ⟭⟬ (@Gigi7Be) March 30, 2021
“You, I and we all have the right to be respected. We will stand together,” BTS concluded.