May 26, 2022 - Politics & Policy

K-pop band BTS meeting Biden to raise awareness of anti-Asian hate

K-pop boy band BTS visit the SiriusXM Studios on February 21, 2020 in New York City.
K-pop band BTS visits the SiriusXM Studios in 2020 in New York City. Photo: Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM

Popular Korean pop boy band BTS is meeting with President Biden next week to "discuss Asian inclusion and representation" and address the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes, the White House said Thursday.

Driving the news: The band will meet with Biden on May 31, per the White House announcement.

  • "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," the White House said.

The big picture: The meeting coincides with Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AAPI), which runs through the end of May.

  • Reports of hate crimes surged in 2021 in more than a dozen of America's largest cities, with a record number of Asian Americans saying they were targeted, Axios' Russell Contreras and Shawna Chen reported this year.
  • Anti-Asian American hate crimes rose 339% in 2021, according to the preliminary results from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino.

Go deeper ... Watch: A conversation on AAPI visibility & vulnerability

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