Ahead of their historic meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden, BTS made a special appearance at the White House press briefing to give a few words.
On May 31 local time, the members of BTS met privately with President Biden at the White House on the final day of AANHPI (Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander) Heritage Month. According to White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, President Biden had invited BTS for “a discussion about Asian inclusion, representation, and diversity, as well as addressing anti-Asian hate crimes and discrimination.”
After being introduced by press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre as “pop phenoms” and “Grammy-nominated international icons… [who] play an important role as youth ambassadors promoting a message of respect and positivity,” each of the BTS members took turns giving brief remarks in Korean.
BTS leader RM began by saying in English, “Thank you, Karine, for your kind words. Hi, we’re BTS, and it is a great honor to be invited to the White House today to discuss the important issues of anti-Asian hate crimes, Asian inclusion, and diversity.”
Jin continued in Korean, “Today is the last day of AANHPI Heritage Month. We are here at the White House today to stand together with the AANHPI community and to commemorate the occasion.”
Jimin went on, “We were shocked and devastated by the recent surge in hate crimes against Asians. In the hopes of helping to put a stop to these kinds of crimes, we would like to take this opportunity to use our voices to speak up.”
J-Hope added, “We believe the only reason we were able to come here today is because of our fans who love our music—ARMY—who have many different nationalities, cultures, and languages. We are truly grateful.”
Jungkook remarked, “I still find it amazing that music made by Korean artists can transcend language and culture to reach so many different people all over the world. I think music is a truly great medium for being able to bring us all together.”
Suga chimed in, “Just because something is different from me doesn’t mean that it’s wrong. I think that equality begins with embracing our differences, instead of thinking of them in terms of right and wrong.”
Finally, V commented, “We each have our own history. I hope today can be another step towards respecting one another and acknowledging that each and every one of us is a valuable person.”
RM then concluded in English, “Lastly, we thank President Biden and the White House for giving us this important opportunity to speak about important causes and remind ourselves of what we can do as artists. Once again, thank you very much.”
Check out a clip of BTS’s appearance at the White House press briefing below!