BTS visit the White House to discuss anti-Asian hate
BTS have today (May 31) taken part in a press conference at the White House.
Last week, it was announced that BTS would be speaking with President Joe Biden at 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”.
All members of the group appeared at the press conference. RM spoke first at the conference and said 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.”
Jin followed, adding: “Today is the last day of AANHPI heritage month. We join the White House to stand with the AANHPI community and to celebrate,” before Jimin said: “We’re devastated by the recent surge of hate crimes including Asian American hate crimes, to put a stop [to] this and support the cause we’d like to take this opportunity to voice ourselves once again.”
J-Hope continued: “We are here today thanks to our ARMY, our fans worldwide, who are from different nationalities and cultures and use different languages. We are truly and always grateful,” while Jungkook said: “We still feel surprised that music created by South Korean artists reaches so many people around the world, transcending languages and cultural barriers. We believe music is always an amazing and wonderful unifier of all things.”
Towards the close, Suga, V and RM also spoke. Suga began: “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.”
RM concluded their speech, thanking the White House for what he described as an “important opportunity to speak about [these] important causes.”
The group are due to meet President Biden in the Oval Office later today.
Lots of BTS fans outside the White House gates, though, again, can’t be sure they aren’t here for Jerome Powell pic.twitter.com/7OXwthzTky
– Christopher Cadelago (@ccadelago) May 31, 2022
.@BTS_twt makes their White House Briefing Room debut #BTS pic.twitter.com/ztEQ2nSFf1
– Sara Cook (@saraecook) May 31, 2022
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre welcomes BTS to the White House on the last day of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month: @BTS_twt @PressSec pic.twitter.com/oqNoB3GEUq
– Hunter Schwarz (@hunterschwarz) May 31, 2022
.@BTS_bighit at the White House. Full remarks via @cbsnews: #BTS pic.twitter.com/aGzWCZpzRp
– Bo Erickson CBS (@BoKnowsNews) May 31, 2022
Earlier today, US Senators Mazie Hirono and Chris Coons entered a playful Twitter feud over their love for BTS, ahead of the boyband’s meeting with President Joe Biden.
Last week, The Wall Street Journal‘s Natalie Andrews tweeted that US Senator Mazie Hirono (D) from the state of Hawaii was “looking for her invite” to see the boyband at the White House on today (May 31).
“I’m the only US Senator who knows who BTS is,” Hirono reportedly said, per Andrews.
Another US Senator, Chris Coons (D) from Delaware, later responded to the tweet, writing “not even close #BTSARMY”, along with a picture of his desk, where he placed a standee of the boyband, along with a placard which reads “Senator Chris Coons” in Korean.
Senator Hirono later replied to Coons via her own Twitter account, challenging him to name his favourite member of BTS to prove himself as a “true fan” of the group. “If you’re a true fan, who’s your bias? And don’t ask your staff,” she wrote.
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.