Back in June, BTS made headlines around the world after making a staggering donation of $1 million USD to the Black Lives Matter movement. But just what inspired them to support the cause so vehemently? The BTS members revealed all in a new Variety interview.
Jin explained that one of the catalysts behind the group’s donation was the prejudice BTS have experienced themselves.
In Weverse Magazine last month, one story touched on a racist comment made by the host of a radio show BTS appeared in February: “There’s no way those guys don’t have the coronavirus“.
When we’re abroad or in other situations, we’ve also been subjected to prejudice.
Jin went on to say that such prejudice “has no place” and “should not be tolerated“. With this in mind, the members began discussing what they could do to support the Black Lives Matter movement.
That’s where the conversation began—just trying to see what we could do to try to alleviate this prejudice.
Leader RM, meanwhile, explained that BTS were already aware of the discussion on social media, including “the fans, the hashtags and their participation“. Since speaking out against prejudice and violence is part of the group’s “overall message“, RM said, they had to think very carefully about how to help.
Back in November 2017, BTS partnered with UNICEF to launch the LOVE MYSELF campaign. Part of the campaign involved sponsoring UNICEF’s global #ENDviolence initiative, aimed at protecting all young people. As part of their work with the organization, BTS also made a donation of ₩500 million KRW (about $430,000 USD).
According to Jin, BTS discussed various ways to help the cause. RM also said that their decisions were made in close contact with the company, who they talked things over with. As fans now know, they eventually settled on making a sizeable $1 million USD donation.
우리는 인종차별에 반대합니다.
우리는 폭력에 반대합니다.
나, 당신, 우리 모두는 존중받을 권리가 있습니다. 함께 하겠습니다.
We stand against racial discrimination.
We condemn violence.
You, I and we all have the right to be respected. We will stand together.#BlackLivesMatter
— 방탄소년단 (@BTS_twt) June 4, 2020
And while many people have dismissed the Black Lives Matter movement as a political matter, Suga said he doesn’t see politics playing a part in BTS’s action. Instead, the rapper said it’s all about the group “being against racism and violence“. As figures with a large following, Suga said BTS wants the world to know they believe no one should be subject to such prejudice and discrimination.
Ours are initiatives that any person who wishes to live in a just world would want to pursue. We aren’t trying to send out some grandiose message.
Ultimately, J-Hope shared that BTS always wants to do what they can to make to make the world better, whether through music or charity.