World renowned K-pop group BTS met with U.S. President Joe Biden on Tuesday (local time) at the White House to discuss ways to respond to Asian hate crimes. The White House was surrounded by BTS fan club Army and more than 100 reporters flocked to the White House press room, which had 49 seat capacity, closely capturing BTS' every move on camera. The 35-minute discussion was held to deliver the U.S. government's message to fight against discrimination against Asian Americans via the widely popular BTS.
"When good people talk about how bad hate is, it goes down. People listen to what you say," said President Biden, expressing hope for BTS' role in bringing down Asian hate crimes. BTS expressed appreciation of the Biden administration's signing of the anti-Asian hate crime bill, saying that they hoped that they could be a little help in trying to find solutions. After the meeting, President Biden gifted BTS with commemorative coins.
Seven members of BTS, dressed in white shirts, black ties and black suits, rose to the podium consecutively and urged to terminate Asian hate crime. Leader RM opened the discussion in English, saying that it is an honor to discuss Asian hate crime, engagement, diversity and other key topics, thanking President Biden and the White House for the opportunity to think about what BTS can do as an artist to deal with such issues.
Other members spoke in Korean, which was translated into English. “We were devastated by the recent surge in hate crimes, including Asian American hate crimes. To put a stop on this and support the cause, we would like to take this opportunity to voice ourselves once again," said Jimin. Suga said, “It’s not wrong to be different. We think equality begins when we open up and embrace all of our differences.”
"We are here once again to express our gratitude to our army, our fans worldwide, who have different nationalities and cultures and use different languages,” J-Hope said. “We are truly and always grateful.”
“We are still surprised that music created by South Korean artists reaches so many people around the world, transcending language and cultural barriers,” said Jungkook. “We believe music is always an amazing and wonderful unifier of all things.”