Last year, two weeks after the Atlanta spa shooting, BTS released a statement speaking out against the rising wave of anti-Asian violence, recalling their own experiences with racism in the West.
“We have endured expletives without reason and were mocked for the way we looked,” they wrote on Twitter. “We cannot put into words the pain of becoming the subject of hatred and violence for such a reason. Our own experiences are inconsequential compared to the events that have occurred over the past few weeks.”
Anti-Asian hate crimes have been on the rise since the start of the pandemic, particularly those targeting women and older adults. This month, a shooter opened fire on a Taiwanese Christian church in California, killing one person and injuring five others. A string of shootings at Asian-owned businesses in Dallas were believed to be hate crimes connected to one suspect. Earlier this year, New York City saw a spate of horrific anti-Asian hate crimes including a series of assaults on seven Asian women in the span of two hours and the brutal stabbing death of a 35-year-old Korean American woman.
According to the White House, BTS and Biden will discuss “the importance of diversity and inclusion” as well as BTS’ role as youth ambassadors “who spread a message of hope and positivity across the world." It’s unclear whether this will be a video call or an in-person meeting. Fans have already begun rejoicing and sharing their excitement for the group.