Gisele Barreto Fetterman, wife of Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, took to Twitter on October 11 to reveal she had been accosted in the parking lot of a local Aldi's by a woman hurling racial slurs at her.
The incident, which she filmed part of and shared online, revealed the prominent role racism still plays in the lives of minorities everywhere.
In Fetterman's video post, a woman approached her car, pulled down her mask and called her the n-word.
*TRIGGER WARNING* I love love love this country but we are so deeply divided. I ran to the local grocery store and… https://t.co/v6zflPE224— Gisele Barreto Fetterman (@Gisele Barreto Fetterman)1602455320.0
finally capture it after the crying winded down. This behavior and this hatred is taught. If you know her, if she… https://t.co/ivAyztgOY9— Gisele Barreto Fetterman (@Gisele Barreto Fetterman)1602455331.0
This whole country is made up of immigrants, white, black, Asian, Indian. The only people not immigrants are Nativ… https://t.co/pG7MwFAcVN— Counselor70🏳️🌈⚢ (@Counselor70🏳️🌈⚢)1602512146.0
In an interview with The Washington Post, Fetterman, a former undocumented immigrant who has been a U.S. citizen for 11 years, told her story:
"She said, 'There's that N-word that Fetterman married. You don't belong here.' I was just kind of frozen in that moment. I was shaking. I was so nervous."
@giselefetterman I am a Trump supporter and despise this behavior by anyone. There are so many forces manipulating… https://t.co/JKO8fiEYFn— Peggy Ohms (@Peggy Ohms)1602514678.0
After Gisele Barreto Fetterman, the wife of Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor, was the target of a racial slur at… https://t.co/TOBkWJlXZX— The New York Times (@The New York Times)1602604478.0
The woman who tweeted this ⬇️ is Gisele Barreto Fetterman, an amazing community activist & wife of Lt. Governor of… https://t.co/PSQfbOffGj— Pass the ERA! (@Pass the ERA!)1602499105.0
According to Fetterman, the incident began as she was waiting in the checkout line at Aldi's and continued into the parking lot.
@giselefetterman You are a part of what makes this country beautiful. Sorry you had to endure this, and thank you f… https://t.co/PMhsJHEQ7f— Vincent Springfield (@Vincent Springfield)1602455631.0
@giselefetterman You belong here. We are glad you’re here. Pennsylvania is a better place with you in it.— Beckey E (@Beckey E)1602455724.0
@giselefetterman Omg, Gisele. This is beyond disgusting. Nobody deserves this especially one of the kindest, sweete… https://t.co/JZVuGgbbo5— DLouH (@DLouH)1602455993.0
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf described the woman's behavior as "shameful and unacceptable," writing online:
"No one should ever be made to feel unwelcome in our commonwealth because of their race or ethnicity."
"Gisele Fetterman spends much of her time making our state and world a better place and she — and every Pennsylvanian — deserves our respect, not the hatred too often displayed by people who seek only to further divide this country at a time when unity is so desperately needed."
@giselefetterman You and your family belong here, and you are loved. I’m so sorry this happens.— ILiveJustUp28 (@ILiveJustUp28)1602456405.0
@giselefetterman Sorry Gisele. Living where you live, for as long as you live, you probably already know; change co… https://t.co/n22HG642Qh— Shane (@Shane)1602457995.0
@giselefetterman Gisele you put so much light into this world and region. I wish we lived in a world where this did… https://t.co/deuJyrJmFB— Seth Davis (@Seth Davis)1602459290.0
Senator Bob Casey also issued a statement, saying:
"It's on us to teach our children kindness, acceptance and inclusion, and condemn hate whenever and wherever we see it."
@giselefetterman An attack on PA’s second lady is attack on all. Don’t come at Gisele, we Stan.— NORML (@NORML)1602466369.0
@CapitolHokie @giselefetterman It doesn't matter who she is married to. No one deserves to be treated this way.— Dr. AJ is using her earned title, deal with it (@Dr. AJ is using her earned title, deal with it)1602525700.0
Speaking to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Fetterman said she believed racist behaviors like these are emboldened by the rhetoric of President Donald Trump.
"We see folks in high positions acting a certain way, then maybe that emboldens/ I don't know if there's more of this now or it's just more public now. The fact that people have such a blind hatred for what's different is scary."
Racism is unacceptable in all of its forms and any respectable representative of the people would not hesitate to denounce it.