Karina Brown is a college administrator at Columbus State Community College. On March 18th, she attended the Bon Jovi concert at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus with her childhood friend. The day, meant to be an enjoyable one as they were celebrating her 45th birthday, took a sour turn when towards the end of the evening a concert-goer turned to her and said: “You don’t belong in this country.”
Brown, who is the daughter of a Japanese immigrant and a U.S. military veteran, was understandably shaken and upset by the woman’s comment. She and her friend left the area immediately. While the remark of the woman was indeed disturbing, it was the response that Brown received from those she told the incident to that truly alarmed her.
Many of the people she spoke to about what happened attempted to justify the disparaging comment made and some thought that Brown was exaggerating its impact. Brown decided to document her experience in a Facebook post and was received with a plethora of negative and dismissive responses.
Brown states, “There were these various ways of making what happened to me ‘okay’.” However, understanding the larger impact and racist overtone of this message, she reported her story to Documenting Hate.
Documenting Hate, a project created by nonprofit newsroom ProPublica, is an online database that aims to track and document cases of discrimination from across the country.
As a mother and school administrator, Brown said that she felt that it was her duty to be a role model and “do what’s right.”
She explains that though she feels uncomfortable telling her story, she understands that these instances need exposure because “it may help someone else that’s had something happen to them.”
Click ‘NEXT PAGE’ to continue reading. If you found this story interesting, make sure to SHARE this post with all of your friends on Facebook.