“BTS는 그리스도교 신앙을 선언하지는 않지만, 나자렛 예수님처럼 평등, 정의, 존중이라는 그리스도교 가치에 대한 믿음을 가지고 있습니다.” – 쉐이 콜린 신부
쉐이 콜린 신부
필리핀에서 활동하고 있는 성골롬반외방선교회 쉐이 콜린 신부(Fr Shay Cullen’s SSC)의 글을 전합니다. 지난 5월 31일(현지시간), BTS가 미국 백악관을 방문하여 평등과 도덕적 가치를 촉구하는 메시지를 나누었을 때를 소개하면서 50년 선교 활동을 한 본인보다 BTS는 음악으로 전 세계에 있는 더 많은 사람에게 인간 존엄에 대한 메시지를 강력하게 전달하고 있다고 했습니다. 콜린 신부는 BTS가 퍼뜨리고 있는 선한 영향력을 언급하며 사회 안에 만연한 불평등과 혐오, 학대 등으로 신음하는 젊은이들에게 시선을 돌리도록 초대하고 있습니다.
전 세계에게 희망과 용기와 선을 퍼뜨리고 있는 대한민국 아티스트 BTS를 통해 온갖 차별, 소외, 불의, 폭력으로 고통받는 이들이 위로받고 힘을 얻기를 기대합니다.
5월 31일, BTS가 백악관을 방문하였을 때, 백악관 기자실에서 인사와 메시지를 나누는 모습 @사진 출처: 백악관 트위터, The White House Twitter
RM: 오늘 백악관에 초청을 받아서 반아시아 혐오 범죄, 포용, 다양성 등 중요한 문제를 함께 이야기할 수 있어 영광입니다. 아티스트로서 우리가 무엇을 할 수 있을지 생각할 기회를 만들어 주신 바이든 대통령과 백악관에 감사합니다.
진: 오늘은 AAPI month 의 마지막 날입니다. 저희는 AAPI Comminity와 뜻을 함께하고 기념하기 위해 오늘 백악관에 왔습니다
지민: 최근 아시아계를 대상으로 한 많은 증오 범죄에 굉장히 놀랐고 마음이 아 좋았는데요. 이것이 근절되는 데 조금이라도 도움이 되고자 오늘 이 자리를 빌려 목소리를 내고자 합니다.
뷔: 우리는 모두의 각자의 역사를 가지고 있습니다. 오늘 한 사람 한 사람이 의미 있는 존재로서 서로 존중하고 이해하기 위한 또 한걸음이 되길 바랍니다.
슈가: 나와 다르다는 것은 잘못된 일이 아닙니다. 옳고 그름이 아닌 다름을 인정하는 것으로부터 평등은 시작된다고 생각합니다.
제이홉: 네, 오늘 저희가 이 자리에 올 수 있었던 것은 저희의 음악을 사랑해 주시는 다양한 국적, 언어, 문화를 가진 세계 팬 아미 여러분들이 계셨기에 이 자리에 올 수 있었다고 생각합니다. 정말 감사합니다.
정국: 한국인의 음악이 서로 다른 언어와 문화을 넘어서 전 세계 많은 분들께 닿을 수 있다는 게 아직까지도 신기한 것 같습니다. 그리고 이 모든 걸 연결을 시켜 주는 음악이란 건 참으로 훌륭한 매체개가 아닌가 싶습니다.
출처: 성골롬반외방선교회 아일랜드 지부 홈페이지(https://columbans.ie/) 영어 원문 읽기
Korean Boyband BTS calls for racial equality and moral values
What in the world was the famous Korean boy band BTS doing in the White House press room, talking to the world media and standing behind White House Press Secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, the first openly gay black woman to hold the job wonders Fr Shay Cullen?
These young people and remarkably a woman were telling the world that racial discrimination and hatred directed against American-Asian people is morally wrong, a violation of human rights and that respect and love for the human dignity and each other is the greatest good.
In that one presentation, repeated thousands of times around the world, a fantastic atheistic group of boys have reached more people with a powerful message on human dignity than I have in 50 years of missionary endeavour. If only I had pursued my rock band ambitions as a teenager, I might have had more impact!
Many of the youth of the world are sceptical, disbelieving, and rebelling against abusive parents and corrupt society and are suffering sexual abuse. They are turned off by politicians and abusive adults. The president of the United States turns to BTS to help project his message in support of Asian-Americans, including Filipinos.
Some racist politicians, including former president Donald Trump, are allegedly responsible for igniting a wave of hatred and resulting hate crimes against people of Asian descent when he began calling the novel coronavirus, Chinese flu. His open support for white supremacy groups in the United States made Asian-Americans targets of racial attacks.
It was a wise move by President Biden, a devoted Catholic, to invite the boy band BTS to the White House. The group is composed of seven members, remarkable singers, and dancers, known by the names J-Hope, Suga, Jungkook, V, Jin, RM, and Jimin.
They write their own socially aware and human rights-conscious songs and are a force for good. They have hundreds of millions of youth fans. Their songs are played continuously everywhere. Even though they are not religious and declare no Christian faith, they do have a belief in Christian values of equality, justice, and respect for all human beings despite race, status, or nationality, just like Jesus of Nazareth.
They joined President Joe Biden, the most powerful man in the world, in promoting the highest values and condemning the hate speech and attacks and discrimination against the 24 million Asian-Americans that comprise 7.2 percent of the total US population.
The BTS members write their own songs and sing about the wrongs of bullying, racism, violence, discrimination, and inequality. They are a worldwide sensation and have hundreds of millions of young fans listening, singing, and dancing to their songs. The fans can have a powerful positive influence on their parents.
From the White House podium, they had this to say: “We were devastated by the recent surge in hate crimes, including Asian-American hate crimes. To put a stop to this and support the cause, we’d like to take this opportunity to voice ourselves once again,” Jimin said.
Suga then said: “It is not wrong to be different. I think equality begins when we open up and embrace all of our differences.”
And V remarked: “Everyone has their own history. We hope that today is one step closer to respecting and understanding each and every one as a valuable person.”
J-Hope said: “We are here once again, thanks to our “army” our fans worldwide, who have different nationalities and cultures and use different languages. We are truly and always grateful.”
Jungkook added: “We are still surprised that music created by South Korean artists reaches so many people around the world, transcending language and cultural barriers. We believe music is always an amazing and wonderful unifier of all things.”
The White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre who presented the band to the media, is herself an example of a young person who overcame hardship and sexual abuse as a child as she said in her memoir, and eventually graduated with a Master of Public Affairs from the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University (SIPA) in 2003.
She is a highly qualified black, gay woman that served under President Barack Obama and continued with President Joe Biden.
In the Philippines, the incoming administration would do well to select people for public office based on ability and qualification and not personal looks, political connections, and cronyism. Sadly, there is much discrimination and racism in the Philippines where many people in the middle and upper class have been convinced that when it comes to skin colour, white is right.
They spend lavishly on dangerous, mercury-laced skin whitening creams promoted by cosmetic companies to emulate and imitate the sickly, bleached white-skinned celebrities and some movie stars.
They wrongly reject and despise their own natural skin colour and “kayumanggi” heritage, considering it as inferior and unworthy of them. They fail to see and appreciate the natural beauty of their own heritage. Worst of all, they are endangering their health with these racist products.
The dedicated Filipino EcoWaste Coalition is campaigning to end the sale of mercury-laced skin whiteners. Eight brands of these dangerous products are identified on http://ecowastecoalition.blogspot.com
The World Health Organisation (WHO) lists the damages: kidney damage, skin rashes, skin discoloration, scarring, reduction in the skin’s resistance to bacterial and fungal infections, anxiety, depression, psychosis, and peripheral neuropathy.
Racism is not only in skin whitening products but firstly in the culture. Filipino indigenous peoples are treated as inferior people by an elite oligarchy composed of dynastic families that devour the indigenous ancestral lands to extract minerals causing environmental destruction and greater poverty and oppression.
They have ruled with disastrous consequences for generations where one-third of the Philippine population survives at various levels of poverty. Many thousands of neglected and forgotten Filipinos (until election time) survive on the garbage and recycled left-over food from the plates of restaurant diners.
The rich and wealthy live in a luxurious cocoon of ignorance and apathy while millions go hungry. The ruling elite have no shame, no national pride to make the Philippines a nation of fully educated people and a prosperous, poverty-free nation in the world community. They have allowed it to become a nation owned by a few, super rich in an ocean of beggars, slum dwellers, and uneducated poor and a heavily taxed, struggling middle class.
They don’t care that hundreds of thousands of children are sexually abused in their impoverished families and sold over the internet as sex slaves by human traffickers for the satisfaction of foreign sex tourists and paedophiles. The new administration will need more than a Korean boy band to change this shocking reality and build a nation based on justice and equality.