BTS spoke out against the recent wave of violence against Asians, recalling their memories of discrimination based on ethnicity.

Their stand comes after a mass shooting in Atlanta on March 16, that killed six Asian people. The gunman, who faces eight counts of murder, denied the assault was racially motivated. Still, investigators said it was too soon to rule out a hate crime.

"We send our deepest condolences to those who have lost their loved ones," reads their statement on Twitter. "We feel grief and anger. We recall moments when we faced discrimination as Asians. We have endured expletives without reason and were mocked for the way we look. We were even asked why Asians spoke in English."

 

 

The South Korean boy band took time to share their own experiences of prejudice as young Asian men at the forefront of mainstream music worldwide. "We recall moments when we faced discrimination as Asians," the seven-member band said. "We have endured expletives without reason and were mocked for the way we look. We were even asked why Asians spoke English."

BTS admitted that their experiences were "inconsequential" compared to the recent incidents of violence involving Asian-Americans in the US. However, the Korean boy band went on to say that their own encounters with prejudice made them feel "powerless" and "[chipped] away" their self-esteem.

BTS members Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V, and Jungkook underscored that the stand they must take is clear. "We stand against racial discrimination. We condemn violence. You, I, and we all have the right to be respected. We will stand together," the group said.  

The Korean group used the hashtag #StopAsianHate in their statement written in Korean and English. Social media users also reposted the message about recent attacks on the AAPI community. 

The Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism said anti-Asian hate crimes have been rising since 2020. The number increased by nearly 150 percent in the year alone. According to a Stop AAPI Hate report, Asian-Americans were subjected to nearly 3,800 hate crimes over the whole of last year. 

This isn't the first time BTS has voiced their opinion against violence. They promised to contribute $1 million to UNICEF's anti-violence initiative earlier this year, renewing their commitment to the "Love Myself" campaign that they launched in 2017.

GettyImages-1196915689 NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 31: BTS attend Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve With Ryan Seacrest 2020 on December 31, 2019 in New York City. Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Dick Clark Productions