How to Ruin a Bon Jovi Concert

"You don't belong in this country."

One of the hard truths about being Asian in America is regularly being made to feel like we don't belong in our own country. In Ohio, a Columbus woman went to a Bon Jovi concert to celebrate her birthday. Toward the end of the show, another concertgoer turned to her and said, "You don't belong in this country."

Karina Brown, an administrator at Columbus State Community College, attended the Bon Jovi show at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus on March 18. It was supposed to be a fun way to celebrate her 45th birthday. Instead, probably somewhere around "Livin' on a Prayer," she gets a reality check from a racist Bon Jovi fan.

But perhaps more alarming than the remark itself, was how several people she told about the incident tried to justify it, or told her she was exaggerating its impact. After one too many people tried to convince her what happened was "okay," she decided to report her story to Documenting Hate, an online database that aims to track and spread awareness of discrimination across the country.

Yes, this incident may seem relatively minor in the grand scheme of contemporary what-the-fuck racism. But Brown says she's sharing about her experience as an example of how discrimination can happen in "the most unlikely of places." And unfortunately, too often, people will just swallow it and shrug it off.

"Here's this woman standing next to me who is like this put-together PTA mom." Brown tells Cincinnati.com. "She looks like someone I would see at one of my kids' PTA meetings, and the look she gave me, the contempt she had for me. It floored me. I just couldn't believe it."

And I'm sure Jon Bon Jovi wouldn't be cool with it either. Shame on that lady.

Brown attributes the incident to a shift in culture sparked by the political rise of Donald Trump. Since the presidential election, she believes people feel more emboldened and comfortable to express racism.

"I think she felt empowered to say something like that," Brown said. "I think she felt entitled to speak up against immigrants."

More here: This Columbus woman went to a Bon Jovi concert for her birthday. An act of discrimination made her leave.

More here: Documenting Hate

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