The message that topped all others? BTS’ March 29 plea to their millions of followers worldwide to #StopAsianHate. The tweet contained the hashtag, as well as a personal and heartfelt message shared in both Korean and English.
“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 English,” the septet wrote in part. “Our own experiences are inconsequential compared to the events that have occurred over the past few weeks.”
“We stand against racial discrimination. We condemn violence,” they concluded. “You, I and we all have the right to be respected. We will stand together.”
— 방탄소년단 (@BTS_twt) March 30, 2021
According to Twitter, the message has been shared more than a million times. #BTS was also the most popular hashtag of the year.
BTS’ emotional tweet came as violence against Asian Americans was rising around the country as former President Trump repeatedly used phrases such as “China/Chinese virus” and “kung flu” to refer to the coronavirus. Among the tragedies was a series of shootings in Georgia March 16 that left eight dead, six of whom were of Asian descent.
The year before, BTS also stepped up to support the Black Lives Matter movement. The group and label Big Hit Entertainment (since renamed HYBE) made a $1 million donation to the organization. Within 24 hours, the BTS ARMY had matched that 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,” group member Jin told Variety at the time. “We started to discuss what we could do to help, whether it was a donation or something else. That’s where the conversation began — just trying to see what we could do to try to alleviate this prejudice.”