Gisele Barreto Fetterman, wife of Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, was called by a racial slur at a grocery store in an encounter she caught on video.
She typically only travels outside the house with an escort of state troopers, she told The Philadelphia Inquirer. But on Sunday, October 11, she realized she might miss out on a sale of golden kiwis at her neighborhood grocer, and decided to venture out for a quick trip on her own.
A woman recognized her as Fetterman’s wife while she waited in line. She began hurling insults at her, including racial slurs, Barreto Fetterman told The Washington Post.
She managed to film a piece of the encounter, which continued after she got into her car in the parking lot. You can watch the video here or below. Be forewarned that the video may be upsetting to some viewers.
Here’s what you need to know:
State Police Are Investigating the Incident
Barreto Fetterman told the Post the encounter with the woman started when she was recognized as Fetterman’s wife as she waited in line.
“She said, ‘There’s that [n-word] that Fetterman married. You don’t belong here. No one wants you here. You don’t belong here,” she recalled in an interview with the Post.
Barreto Fetterman was born in Brazil and lived in the United States as an undocumented immigrant.
In the 2-second video, the woman pulls down her mask and says, “You’re a n*****.”
Barreto Fetterman shared the video on Twitter the night of October 11.
“*TRIGGER WARNING,*” she wrote on Twitter. “I love love love this country but we are so deeply divided. I ran to the local grocery store and was met by and verbally assaulted by this woman who repeatedly told me I do not belong here. The confrontation continued into the parking lot where I was able to finally capture it after the crying winded down. This behavior and this hatred is taught. If you know her, if she is your neighbor or relative, please, please teach her love instead.”
State police are investigating the incident, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Pennsylvania Officials Spoke Out Against the Racist Encounter
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf called the incident “shameful and unacceptable” in a statement on Twitter.
“The ethnic intimidation and hate speech spewed at the Second Lady of Pennsylvania is shameful and unacceptable,” he said. “Racism is always unacceptable and unworthy of Pennsylvanians. No one should ever be made to feel unwelcome in our commonwealth because of their race or ethnicity.”
Lt. Gov. John Fetterman thanked the governor and Pennsylvania residents for their support.
“I am *deeply* grateful to the Governor for his support of @giselefetterman,” Fetterman wrote. “The outpouring of love + support from Pennsylvania’s leadership + citizens has been truly humbling. Gisele + I love this country and our commonwealth deeply. Thank you PA, for standing with Gisele.”
Sen. Robert Casey Jr., D-Pa., also spoke out against the incident on Twitter.
“Today at the grocery store, PA’s Second Lady @giselefetterman was subjected to a racial slur and taunts. As she said: ‘this hatred is taught.’ It’s on us to teach our children kindness, acceptance and inclusion, and condemn hate whenever and wherever we see it,” he said.