BTS spoke at the White House press briefing Tuesday ahead of a meeting with President Joe Biden to celebrate Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
RM, the only member of the group to address reporters in English, said, “It is a great honor to be invited to the White House today to discuss the important issues of anti-Asian hate crimes, Asian inclusion and diversity.”
After the rest of the group gave their remarks in Korean, which were subsequently translated, RM concluded, “We thank President Biden and the White House that we were given this important opportunity to speak about these important causes and remind ourselves of what we can do as artists.”
Jin said the group “stands with the AANHPI community,” while Jimin said BTS was “devastated by the recent surge of hate crimes, including Asian American hate crimes” and was at the White House to help “put a stop to this and support the cause.”
Referring to their worldwide fanbase, Jungkook said, in part, “We believe music is always an amazing and wonderful unifier of all things.”
“It’s not wrong to be different,” said Suga. “Equality begins when we open up and embrace all of our differences.” And V added, “We hope today is one step forward to respecting and understanding each and everyone as a valuable person.”
As the group was ushered out of the briefing, one reporter got big laughs by shouting, “Which one of us is your favorite?”
In a closed meeting in the Oval Office, Biden and BTS planned to discuss Asian representation, inclusion and anti-Asian discrimination in the U.S.
Between March 2020 and Dec. 31, 2021, the Asian advocacy organization Stop AAPI Hate recorded more than 10,000 reports of hate incidents against Asian American and Pacific Islander persons across the U.S.
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