- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 26, 2022

South Korean pop band BTS will join President Biden on Tuesday to discuss “Asian inclusion and representation” and address the anti-Asian discrimination that rose alongside the coronavirus pandemic, the White House said Thursday.

Mr. Biden plans to use the White House visit to highlight the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act he signed last year to provide law enforcement with resources to identify, investigate and report hate crimes, and ensure information about these crimes is available to Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities.

“President Biden and BTS will also discuss the importance of diversity and inclusion and BTS’ platform as youth ambassadors who spread a message of hope and positivity across the world,” the White House said.

Reports of anti-Asian crimes and harassment dominated the headlines after the start of the pandemic, sparking fears that attackers were generally linking Asian communities with the virus that was first discovered in China.

BTS, a seven-member boy band, has become a global phenomenon over the past decade as part of the rising popularity of the K-pop scene.

Known for their dancing prowess, their hits often surge to the top of the charts. They’ve been nominated for Grammy awards and frequently appear on late-night television in the U.S.

The White House announced BTS’ planned visit days after Mr. Biden returned from an East Asia trip that included a stop in South Korea to discuss trade and cooperation on regional defense.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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