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.
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."
According to Fetterman, the incident began as she was waiting in the checkout line at Aldi's and continued into the parking lot.
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."
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."
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.