South Korean boy band BTS issued a statement on Tuesday condemning the recent surge in anti-Asian violence, and shared their experiences of the racism they have faced.
“We send our deepest condolences to those who have lost their loved ones. We feel grief and anger,” the band said in the statement.
The statement highlighted moments when they “faced discrimination as Asians”, including “enduring expletives without reason and were mocked for the way we look” and being “asked why Asians spoke in English”.
They said that the band’s “own experiences are inconsequential” compared to recent events but that the racism was “enough to make us feel powerless and chip away our self-esteem”.
“What is happening right now cannot be dissociated from our identity as Asians. It required considerable time for us to discuss this carefully and we contemplated deeply on how we should voice our message,” they added.
The band concluded saying: “We stand against racial discrimination. We condemn violence. You, I and we all have the right to be respected.”