In their first full concert since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Korean pop group BTS — one of the most popular groups in music today — condemned the consistent anti-Asian racism they have experienced over the past two years.
Brahmjot Kaur of NBC News reported that ahead of a series of sold-out shows in Los Angeles, members of the group spoke out against the issues of anti-Asian racism and violence and how the group hopes to continue raising awareness and fighting against the hate wherever possible.
In a news conference at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, Kim Nam-Joon — known as RM — said, “when we talk about Asian hate, our path, all the awards and our music, we just hope that this can truly help every Asian in the world, especially [those] who live in the countries abroad. If there is something that we can help with, we’re always open. We’ll try to expand the variety and stop the discrimination and racism.”
According to Kaur, “the seven members of BTS — RM, Jin, V, J-Hope, Suga, Park Ji-min and Jungkook — also expressed gratitude for their fans’ support and the awards they have received, including Artist of the Year at the American Music Awards and their second Grammy nomination.”
While it’s still relatively uncommon for pop music groups to speak out on social issues such as racism and discrimination, BTS has made this signal boosting a practice throughout their career. Earlier this year, the group made a highly publicized appearance at the United Nations, encouraging their fans to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and become more politically active and agents of change in the world.
In spring 2021, when anti-Asian violence began to spike across the United States, the group also discussed the topic repeatedly on Twitter, saying they felt “powerless.”
“We cannot put into words the pain of becoming the subject of hatred and violence for such a reason,” the group tweeted.
In June 2020, following the murder of George Floyd, the group also donated $1 million to Black Lives Matter, saying, “We stand against racial discrimination. We condemn violence. You, I and we all have the right to be respected. We will stand together. #BlackLivesMatter.”
Within 24 hours of their message going out, the group’s highly passionate fanbase known as the ARMY had matched the donation.