The wife of Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor said a White woman hurled racist slurs at her during a trip to the grocery store over the weekend. Gisele Fetterman, who was born in Brazil, told CBS Pittsburgh on Monday that encounter made her remember the feeling of “not belonging.”
“I was quickly a 9-year-old undocumented little girl scared of someone knocking at the door at that moment,” Fetterman said. “It absolutely brought back all the feelings of feeling that I didn’t belong or that I wasn’t welcomed here.”
Fetterman, who is married to Lieutenant-Governor John Fetterman, said the woman began shouting at her inside the store in Braddock on Sunday. “She says, ‘There’s that ‘N word’ that Fetterman married,’ and said I was a thief and that I didn’t belong here and kept walking,” she told the station.
Fetterman posted a two-second video on her Twitter account showing the woman continuing her verbal attacks through her car, repeating the N-word at her.
“I got in my car and I began to back up, and I was crying and shaking at this point, and she comes out of the store with no groceries, just with her purse, and that’s when I was finally able to get my phone and that was kind of the end of it,” Fetterman said.
Fetterman discussed the racism behind the woman’s words, saying the woman had to “learn” that behavior. “So, someone taught her that,” she said. “Whoever raised her taught her that at some point, and we have to be responsible to break these cycles.”
“I ask that she be met with compassion and that if you know her or if she’s your neighbor or your family member, to try to find where this came from and try to work — the same way we learn something, we can unlearn it,” Fetterman added.
Governor Tom Wolf condemned hate speech used against Fetterman, saying they are “always unacceptable” and “unworthy of Pennsylvanians.”
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