Wife of the Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania
Gisele Barreto Fetterman, Lt . Gov. John Fetterman 's wife, said a woman taunted at a grocery store. Ms. Fetterman posted Twitter confrontation footage.
Gisele Barreto Fetterman, Pennsylvania's lieutenant governor 's wife, went to Sunday's grocery store to pick up those golden kiwis.
It was a last-minute sprint, so she went to a nearby Aldi store without the state troops normally surrounding her. Ms. Fetterman was waiting in line to pay when a lady stood and looked at her.
"'Oh, there's the N-word the Fetterman married," Ms. Fetterman remembered the woman saying to her, noting in Monday's phone interview that she used the racist insult without abbreviating it. Ms. Fetterman is Lt . Gov. John Fetterman 's wife.
Ms. Fetterman, who posted Sunday night 's experience story in a tweet, said she froze. The woman kept shouting, "You don't belong here," she said.
Shaken, Ms. Fetterman paid for her produce, returning to her car. The woman reappeared, taking off her purple mask and repeated the racist insult to Ms. Fetterman, who reported and posted it on social media with her fans.
Word of encounter spread just three weeks before a presidential election in which Pennsylvania would assume its position as an important battlefield state. President Trump, who won less than 45,000 votes in 2016, is now trailing former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. in virtually every poll.
Partisan rancor remains strong, particularly over racial strife and restrictions on coronavirus. Ms. Fetterman 's husband and Gov. Tom Wolf, both Democrats, fought with Republicans actively defying stay-at - home orders, masking mandates and other measures to deter disease transmission.
In her tweet, Ms. Fetterman said, "I love love this world, but we're so divided."
"Teaches this action and hate," she said. "If you know her, if she's your neighbor, please teach her love instead.
In an interview, Ms. Fetterman said the Pennsylvania State Police identified the woman in the video and investigated.
A Brazilian citizen, Ms. Fetterman, 38, is a former illegal alien who came to New York City before she turned 8. She said she got her green card in 2004, becoming a resident in 2009.
She and Fetterman married in 2008 with three children. They live in Braddock, a Pittsburgh borough in western Pennsylvania where Mr. Fetterman was the previous mayor.
Mr. Fetterman, once called "America's coolest mayor" and "Hell's mayor," has built a cult after years. The shaven-headed 6-foot-8 politician tattooed his city's 15104 ZIP code within one arm. The other arm features dates where people died of "senseless crime" while he was mayor.
Early in the coronavirus pandemic, Mr. Fetterman wore a mask to encourage residents to donate masks.
Ms. Fetterman said the grocery store is a two-minute drive from home.
She said she'd been the victim of hateful remarks online and in emails, but Sunday's experience was the first time she'd been targeted.
"I've had good dislike of me," she said. "I've tried to get used to them and say the right thing. It's usual for me. It was never in public to my ears. Nobody's immune to that.
Her post, seen over half a million times Monday afternoon, attracted responses from lawmakers on social media.
"Pennsylvania 's Second Lady's racial bullying and hate speech is disgusting and immoral," Governor Wolf told Twitter.
"To teach our children compassion, acceptance and inclusion, and to reject bigotry wherever and everywhere we see it," wrote Senator Bob Casey, a Democrat on Twitter. Another Democrat from Pennsylvania, Delegate Mary Gay Scanlon, said "hate has no room here."
Ms. Fetterman said she wished people would approach the woman at the grocery store "with kindness and teach her different."
"I know I wasn't the first to receive this," she said, "but I pray I'm the last one with her."