LAS VEGAS, NV – MAY 21: K-Pop sensation, group BTS poses backstage in the press room the 2017 Billboard Music Awards at the T-Mobile Arena on May 21, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by C Flanigan/Getty Images)\
By: Glivell Piloto
June 20th, 2020 was supposed to be the outcome of what President Donald Trump’s “successful” campaign and following had accomplished. For K-Pop stans across the country however, that was not the plan.
Just days leading up to the rally President Trump promoted what would be the first of his rallies since the COVID-19 shutdown occurred. As always his enormous ego took over causing his campaign team to brag about the large number of ticket sales. Despite the rising cases of COVID-19 at the time, the rally would be held at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. According to President Trump’s campaign manager Brad Parscale, the stadium would be full of 19,000 supporters as well as an overflow outside.
K-Pop stans decided to take this situation into their own hands. Across the country thousands of teenagers and fans began to reserve tickets. The plan eventually becoming a craze on the popular app TikTok.
The day of the rally President Trump was met with a more than half empty stadium, mush to his surprise. Political commentors blamed the enthusiastic K-Pop fans and TikTok users for there involvement.
Despite the backlash from the right wing supporters, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter to defend the juvenile act. All the while Parscale opposed to the actions of the K-Pop fans claiming them to be “radical protesters,” with no intention of going to the rally even though they purchased the tickets.
“Actually you just got ROCKED by teens on TikTok who flooded the Trump campaign w/ fake ticket reservations & tricked you into believing a million people wanted your white supremacist open mic enough to pack an arena during COVID,” says Ocasio-Cortez adding, “KPop allies, we see and appreciate your contributions in the fight for justice too.”
For those of you who are uncultured and unfamiliar with the meaning of “K-Pop,” simply put it stands for Korean Pop music. The fan base originated in Korea respectively, and made it’s presence known in the United States for years now. The community of K-Pop fans have created an environment where they can all communicate and educate each other in a manner that isn’t seen too often in the states. Due to their welcoming nature, K-Pop fans or as some refer to them as “stans,” have gained a large amount of “members.” More and more youth discover the music of Korean Pop and appreciate the art as well as their fanbase. In an era of E-boys and E-girls, K-Pop stans are at the center for such trends.
For the record, E-girls and e-boys are a youth subculture that emerged in recent years and is almost exclusively seen on social media, notably popularized by the app TikTok.
With the media always encouraging the youth to participate in political events, it’s no surprise that K-Pop stans have developed a voice within U.S. politics. The close knit group has grown a “cult” like behavior over the years. Their numbers having been continuously expanding as well as their influence on pop culture and trends. They have demonstrated just how powerful they are in recent months regarding the U.S. elections. K-Pop stands have been identified to lean far more towards the left/liberal side of U.S. Politics.
What is more surprising is the actual Korean Pop Music artists themselves have not been the leaders of these conquests. The artists have been left surprised with the constant actions of their fanbase. K-Pop stans in America have been their own voice of direction when it comes down to the politics and activism they have displayed time and time again. Keep in mind the origin of Korean Pop music is in fact Korean therefore they don’t have much opportunities to vote within the politics in the U.S.
During this past summer in the U.S., there have been a surge in participation in civil activism. Events like the unjust murder of George Floyd had caused outrage as protests began to flood the streets in every major city. Amongst those protests were unfortunate damages caused to properties in the area of Dallas, Texas. In an attempt to capture the few protesters that had caused vandalism, the Dallas, Texas police department put out a request for any videos of the protestors “causing damage.” The idea was to have the videos come through an app called iWatch Dallas. Alas wanting to protect the identities of the protestors, K-Pop stans decided to interfere with the app.
Upon the request from the Dallas Texas Police Department came a flood of a fancams from K-Pop stans. “Due to technical difficulties iWatch Dallas app will be down temporarily,” stated the twitter account of the Police Department. As a result of the activism demonstrated by the K-Pop stans, to celebrate their victory in protecting the protestors they chose to reply to the tweet with even more fancams, GIFs and other pop culture references.
In regards to what fancams are, they have been identified as video closeups filmed by an audience member during a live performance by a K-Pop group. GIFs, being similar in nature but movable pictures of K-Pop groups captured from any moment whether it be from a music video, performance or interviews.
Although the K-Pop stans tend to be on the younger side leaving them unable to vote, they have influenced more of the younger generations of voters than any other fanbase or celebrity has in years. The political activism they have taken has been discussed more in the media than anyone else’s actions. The younger generation has become more and more involved with politics causing the current election to be more known than any other before it.
Of the several other instances the K-Pop stans have been involved in, comes the hijacking of President Trump’s “#4more years,” trend on Twitter. Yet another instance in which K-Pop stans have flooded the hashtag with more K-Pop GIFs, pictures and videos of their Korean Pop Music idols. The incident took place right before the 2020 elections. The hijacking has caused much outrage with the right wing side of politics and adding fuel to the narrative that the Democrats are or have been cheating their entire way through the elections.
As reported by the Washington Post, this current election has had the largest voter turn out in all of its 120 years. This brings the question of whether the results of this elections were due in large part to the constant interference of K-Pop stans or because of the common agreeance among the American people.