South Korean boy band Bangtan Sonyeondan, more popularly known as BTS, visited the White House and met with US President Joe Biden to discuss the recent spike in anti-Asian hate crimes in the US.
The seven-member group opened for National Economic Council Director Brian Deese’s briefing, which followed a meeting between Biden and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell to discuss the state of the economy amidst the ongoing inflation.
“Hi, we’re BTS, and it is a great honor to be invited to the White House today to be able to discuss the important issues of anti-Asian hate crimes, Asian inclusion, and diversity,” said BTS’ leader RM.
The brief appearance took place as the Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander month came to an end on Tuesday.
Group member Jimin expressed that BTS was “Devastated by the recent surge of hate crimes, including Asian American hate crimes,” and added, “To put a stop on this and support the cause, we’d like to take this opportunity to voice ourselves once again.”
In 2021, Biden signed the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act in an effort to combat the recent rise in anti-Asian sentiments in the US.
More than 310,000 people watched the live stream of the press briefing on the White House’s YouTube page, compared to the 16,000 viewers of the White House’s briefing last Thursday.
“Everyone has their own history. We hope today is one step forward to respecting and understanding each and everyone as a valuable person,” said BTS member V before the group departed the briefing room to meet with Biden.
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