K-pop stars share personal accounts of prejudice, racial discrimination
As alarming incidents of violence against Asian Americans continue to occur across the U.S., a number of celebrities like Sandra Oh and Charles Melton have been speaking out against racist behavior and attitudes.
Joining the outcry against the recent acts of violence are K-pop stars BTS. Members of the group are now speaking out about their own experiences with racial discrimination, CNN reports.
"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," said the band in a statement posted on Twitter Tuesday.
"We cannot put into words the pain of becoming the subject of hatred and violence for such a reason."
Anti-Asian attacks appear to have increased dramatically throughout the U.S. since the novel coronavirus health crisis.
According to research from the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, anti-Asian hate crimes in 16 of America's largest cities increased 149% in 2020.
CNN notes that the group Stop AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) Hate says it received more than 500 anti-Asian hate incident reports in the first two months of 2021.
Six Asian women were among eight victims killed in shootings at three Atlanta-area spas on March 16, and in San Francisco, police have increased patrols in predominantly Asian neighborhoods following "an alarming spike in brazen anti-Asian violence," the department said.
BTS spoke about the victims of violence, saying, "We send our deepest condolence to those who have lost their loved ones. We feel grief and anger," wrote the group.
"Our own experiences are inconsequential compared to the events that have occurred over the past few weeks. But these experiences were enough to make us feel powerless and chip away our self-esteem."
BTS added that they'd taken a significant amount of time to consider the best way to respond to the situation, and they now feel the message is clear.
"We stand against racial discrimination. We condemn violence," their statement reads. "You, I and we all have the right to be respected. We will stand together."
In June 2020 the group made a $1 million donation to Black Lives Matter, and later said of their decision to make the donation, "When we're abroad or in other situations, we've also been subjected to prejudice. We feel that prejudice should not be tolerated; it really has no place."
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