The South Korean K-pop group BTS, a worldwide phenomenon, took advantage of a visit to the White House on Tuesday (31), at the invitation of President Joe Biden, 79, to denounce racism against people of Asian origin in the United States. .
Singer Park Ji-min, better known as Jimin, said the group is “devastated by the recent wave of hate crimes” against people of Asian descent, according to a translator.
Another member, Suga, asked for tolerance. “It’s not wrong to be different. I believe equality starts when we open up and accept all our differences,” he said in the packed White House press room.
Biden invited the seven kings of K-pop to speak “about the inclusion and representation” of Asian people, racist crimes and discrimination against that community, according to the White House.
Racism and violence against Asians has increased in the United States, in a trend that many attribute to the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Donald Trump, Biden’s Republican predecessor, often called the coronavirus the “Chinese virus”, in reference to the country where the first outbreak was detected in 2019, and scoffed at Covid-19 by calling the disease “kung flu” (kung flu, in a English word game).
The most serious incident took place outside Atlanta, where a man shot and killed eight people at a spa. Six of them were Asian women.
The White House praised the BTS members as “youth ambassadors who spread a message of hope and positivity around the world.”
The members of this boyband, all in their 20s and who often wear earrings and makeup, have given voice to a generation that is comfortable with gender fluidity.
In 2021, they posted record annual revenue of over $1 billion thanks to their online content and album sales.
Biden has surrounded himself with young celebrities and internet influencers to try to inject some glamor into his team’s messages on social and health issues.
He has already had, for example, pop singer Olivia Rodrigo and the band Jonas Brothers in campaigns to convince young Americans to get vaccinated against covid-19.
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