Hit K-pop band BTS will join President Joe Biden on Tuesday in honor of AAPI Heritage Month, reports Billboard. At the White House, they will promote “Asian inclusion and representation” and address the dramatic rise in anti-Asian discrimination during the COVID pandemic.
“President Biden and BTS will also discuss the importance of diversity and inclusion and BTS’ platform as youth ambassadors who spread a message of hope and positivity across the world,” stated the White House, according to the Washington Times.
Fans are thrilled that the band will celebrate AAPI Heritage Month in Washington, D.C. “Words are not enough to express how proud I am,” said one Twitter user. “Wow. BTS at the White House. This is so important and historic.”
Biden will use the visit to help highlight the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act he signed last year, which is intended to provide law enforcement with resources to identify, investigate, and report hate crimes with more transparency for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities. The White House’s release noted that he has “previously spoken about his commitment to combating the surge of anti-Asian hate crimes.”
The announcement arrives just days after Biden returned from his first trip to Asia as president, which included a stop in Seoul and meetings with the newly-elected South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, reports CNN.
BTS is a seven-member boy band from South Korea that has risen to international prominence through chart-topping singles like Dynamite, Grammy Award nominations, late-night television appearances, and cultivation of their devoted “BTS Army” fanbase.
Last year, amid several anti-Asian hate crimes happening in the United States, including the Atlanta, Georgia spa shooting, BTS spoke out about the struggles they faced as Asians.
“We cannot put into words the pain of becoming the subject of hatred and violence for such a reason,” they stated in a release they posted on Twitter.
They continued, “We stand against racial discrimination. We condemn violence. You, I and we all have the right to be respected. We will stand together.”
Their tweet has gained over 2.5 million likes.
In 2021, BTS was granted the role of “special presidential envoys for future generations and culture” by the United Nations to promote global diplomacy, states ABC News.
“When BTS said they want to spread love and positivity, they meant it,” tweeted one fan about the visit. “Their music, their participation in campaigns against hate and violence are proof, their donations that we’d only know about when the recipients confirm it… ‘no need to talk the talk, just walk the walk.'”
Along with the White House visit, BTS is gearing up for the release of a new album Proof, a three-CD collection set to come out on June 10, per Rolling Stone.
AsAmNews has Asian America in its heart. We’re an all-volunteer effort of dedicated staff and interns. Check out our new Instagram account. Go to our Twitter feed and Facebook page for more content. Please consider interning, joining our staff, submitting a story or making a financial contribution.