Biden praises BTS during White House visit, saying their message “matters”

by Ricardo Johnson

President Joe Biden praised BTS after meeting the group during their visit to the White House on May 31.

It was announced earlier in May that the band would be visiting the White House to address the issue of “Asian inclusion and representation” and to discuss their platform “as youth ambassadors who spread a message of hope and positivity across the world”.

They sat down with Biden on the last day of AANHPI Heritage Month, with their conversation on the topic being marked as the first to occur between Korean artists and a US president in the Oval Office.

In a video shared on Biden’s Twitter, the group are seen walking up the White House lawn to meet the president, with RM commenting: “It’s an honour to meet you, Mr. President,” as Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook walk alongside.

“This is an important month here in America. A lot of our Asian American friends have been subject to real discrimination,” Biden said in the video. “Hate only hides. When good people talk about it, and say how bad it is, it goes down. So thank you.”

RM replied: “We want to say thank you, sincerely, for your decision, such as signing the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act into law. So we just want to be a little help and we truly appreciate the White House and the government’s trying to find solutions.”

“People care a lot about what you say, and what you’re doing is good for all people,” Biden continued. “It’s not just your great talent, it’s the message you’re communicating. It matters.”

It was great to meet with you, @bts_bighit. Thanks for all you’re doing to raise awareness around the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes and discrimination.

I look forward to sharing more of our conversation soon. pic.twitter.com/LnczTpT2aL

— President Biden (@POTUS) June 1, 2022

The band took part in a press conference ahead of the conversation, where they were introduced by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre as “international icons”.

Each of the members of BTS took turns to speak, with RM beginning that it was “a great honour to be invited to the White House today to discuss the important issues of Anti-Asian hate crimes, Asian inclusion, and diversity.”

Elsewhere, Suga said: “It’s not wrong to be different, and equality begins when we open up and embrace all of our differences,” while V added: “Everyone has their own history. We hope today is one step forward to respecting and understanding each and everyone as a valuable person.”

BTS previously appeared at the United Nations in New York last September where they performed single ‘Permission To Dance’ after being named the UN’s Special Presidential Envoys for Future Generations and Culture. They also gave a speech at the assembly.