Wife of lieutenant governor targeted by racial slur at store

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BRADDOCK, Pa. (AP) — The wife of Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor said she was confronted at the grocery store by a woman who used a racial slur against her.

Gisele Fetterman, whose husband is Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, said the woman appeared to recognize her and began harassing her late Sunday afternoon at a store near the Fetterman home in Braddock.

She said the woman directed a racial epithet at her repeatedly, and followed her after Fetterman retreated to her vehicle in the parking lot. That’s where Fetterman recorded a two-second clip and posted it to social media.

“This is taught, right, so she was taught this,” Fetterman said Monday. “So I just hope that she’s not influencing children or grandchildren, influencing the next generation.”

Fetterman, 38, who was born in Brazil, identifies as Latina. She is normally accompanied by a state trooper when out in public for security, but on Sunday she was not while making a quick run to pick up fruit at the store.

Fetterman said people identified the woman in comments on her Facebook page, and some said they had had similar experiences.

“I know that I wasn’t the first person on the receiving end of this hate from her but I hope to be the last,” she said Monday.

A state police spokesman said he was unsure of the status of any investigation and offered no immediate comment.

Gov. Tom Wolf offered support to the Fetterman family while lambasting such “shameful and unacceptable” behavior. Wolf continued in a released statement, “No Pennsylvanian should ever be made to feel unwelcome in our commonwealth because of their race or ethnicity.”

The governor then lauded the second lady and her efforts towards bettering the commonwealth in a time that he believes unity is most needed.

“The second lady has my and Frances’s full support and gratitude for her tireless work to make Pennsylvania the diverse, inclusive place it is today, even in the face of such ignorance and adversity,” Wolf concluded.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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