In the wake of shootings at three Asian-run spas in Atlanta, Georgia, earlier this month in which eight people, including six Asian women, were killed, K-pop band BTS took to social media to speak out against anti-Asian racism.
The septet comprising of Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V, and Jungkook released a statement which read as follows.
“We send our deepest condolences to those who have lost their loved ones. 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.
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. But these experiences were enough to make us feel powerless and chip away our self-esteem.
What is happening right now cannot be dissociated from our identity as Asians. It required considerable time for us to discuss this carefully and we contemplated deeply on how we should voice our message.
But 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.”
Earlier this month, eight people, six of whom were Asian and two were white, were killed in three shooting incidents in the Atlanta area by a suspect identified as 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long.
He has been arrested and charged with eight counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault.
Long claimed that the attacks were not racially motivated, and that he had a "sexual addiction" and saw the massage parlours as a "temptation" that he wanted to "eliminate", according to authorities.
When caught, he was on the way to Florida, where he planned to commit similar crimes, the authorities added.
The carnage came amid a troubling spike in violence against the Asian-American community -- 3,800 hate incidents reported in the last year, statistics showed.
Although the motive in the carnage has not been determined by police, some public officials and anti-discrimination organisations have raised concerns over the role of racism.
Besides that, Topps, a USA based company came under severe scrutiny on Twitter after the release of a racist trading sticker card about the boy band.
The card based on BTS shows all the band members being hit by the Grammy Awards in a whack-a-mole kind of game. All members have stitches and bandages on their faces.
Later, Topps released a statement on social media saying it has removed the card of BTS.
“We hear and understand our consumers who are upset about the portrayal of BTS in our GPK Shammy Awards product and we apologise for including it,” Topps wrote.
Previously, Hollywood celebs like Rihanna, actor Daniel Dae Kim, Mindy Kaling, Steven Yeun, Olivia Munn, Simu Liu, and filmmakers Lee Isaac Chung and Lulu Wang had spoken up against the wave of hate incidents targeting Asian people in the US.