May 31, 2022 - Politics & Policy

BTS in White House: "We were devastated" over surge in anti-Asian hate crimes

Popular Korean pop boy band BTS on Tuesday opened the White House's daily press briefing to say they were "devastated" over the surge in hate crimes against Asian Americans in the U.S.

The big picture: Anti-Asian hate crimes increased by 339% in 2021, according to a report from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism.

State of play: BTS visited the White House on the last day of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and the band members said — through an interpreter — they were "devastated by the recent surge of hate crimes, including Asian American hate crimes."

  • During its visit, BTS filmed content with the White House's digital team and received a tour of the White House.

What they're saying: "It's not wrong to be different. Equality begins when we open up and embrace all of our differences," said Suga, one of the band members.

  • "Everyone has their own history. We hope today is one step forward to respecting and understanding each and every one as a valuable person," added V, another member.

What's next: BTS will meet with President Biden in a closed-door meeting later on Tuesday to discuss "Asian inclusion and representation," as well the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes.

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

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