BTS vows to stand against racial discrimination, hate speech

Anna Gabrielle Cerezo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 18 2021 12:33 PM

BTS

The once rookie group from a near-bankrupt company mobilized the unprecedented global fame they amassed in the last eight years to make the world a better place by 2030.

Ahead of the 76th United Nations General Assembly on September 20, where BTS will be joining leaders from over 30 member states as well as champions from civil society, the private sector, and international partners for the second meeting of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Moment, RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook vowed to use their influence to fight prejudice.

"If we believe there's hope, we will find the way. We stand against racial discrimination and hate speech," BTS, who had been appointed by South Korean President Moon Jae-in as his Special Envoy for Future Generations and Culture, wrote on Twitter.

The move to call out racism is part of the SDG's 10-year program consisting of 17 interlinked global goals designed to be the blueprint for "a better and more sustainable future for all" by 2030.

Apart from reducing inequality, other agendas of the initiative are to end poverty, achieve food security, ensure healthy lives and well-being; provide quality education, attain gender equality, produce accessible clean water and sanitation to all, shift to affordable and clean energy, give decent work available for everyone, build resilient infrastructures, make communities safe and sustainable, promote sustainable consumption and production partners, address climate change, protect and conserve life on water and land, establish peaceful and inclusive societies with access to accountable justice institutions, and strengthen partnerships for the goals.

BTS urged their followers to likewise join the movement and create a positive impact on the world.

"Choose your promise to help achieve the Global Goals. Let’s do this together," the group tweeted.

The campaign is not the first time BTS spoke up about racism. Earlier this year, the band issued a statement condemning the series of deadly attacks on Asian Americans.

"What our voice must convey 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," RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook admonished.

Despite being one of the biggest acts to ever step into the music scene, the South Koreans revealed they also experienced discrimination.

"We cannot put into words the pain of becoming the subject of hatred and violence for such a reason. We have endured expletives without reason and were mocked for the way we look. We were even asked why Asians spoke English," they shared.

While the members clarified their "own experiences are "inconsequential" compared to the violent acts, they explained the incidents were enough to make them feel powerless as well diminish their self-esteem.

The Bangtan boys' fanbase ARMY has also called out Western journalists, celebrities, publications, awarding bodies as well as the general public for their xenophobic treatment towards the group on several occasions.

Earlier this week, President Moon Jae-in awarded BTS their certificates of appointment along with diplomatic passports. 

The group, who has long been weaving their releases with messages of love and acceptance, is slated to deliver a speech of "comfort and hope to young people" during the session and debut a pre-recorded video performance.