LOS ANGELES: K-pop sensation BTS has criticised the incidents of racial discrimination and violence towards Asian people in the West.
The South Korean boy band, one of the most popular groups in world music, posted a statement on social media in both Korean and English, accompanied with the hashtags — #StopAsianHate and #StopAAPIHate.
The septet, comprising RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook, recalled moments when they faced “discrimination as Asians”.
“We send our deepest condolences to those who have lost their loved ones. We feel grief and anger,” BTS said.
Though the group did not refer to any particular incident of anti-Asian discrimination, their statement comes weeks after six women of Asian descent were among eight people killed by a gunman in a series of shootings at massage parlours in Georgia, US.
The group recalled its own moments of “discrimination as Asians” but said their experience was “inconsequential” compared to the events of last few weeks.
“We have endured expletives without reason and were mocked for the way we look.
We were even asked why we spoke in English.
We cannot put into words the pain of becoming the subject of hatred and violence for such a reason.
“Our own experience are inconsequential compared to the events that have occurred over the past few weeks.
But these experiences were enough to make us feel powerless and chip away our self-esteem,” BTS said.
The band said that it took “considerable time” for them to decide how they should voice the message as they believe that whatever is happening in the world cannot be separated from their “identity as Asians”.
“What our voice must convey is clear. We stand against racial discrimination. We condemn violence. You, and we all have the right to be respected. We will stand together,” BTS said.
Previously, Hollywood celebs like Rihanna, actor Daniel Dae Kim, Mindy Kaling, Steven Yeun, Olivia Munn, Simu Liu, and filmmakers Lee Isaac Chung and Lulu Wang had spoken up against the wave of hate incidents targeting Asian people in the US.