BRADDOCK, Pa. (CBS/AP) — Gov. Tom Wolf condemned the racism and hate speech directed toward Gisele Fetterman, Pennsylvania’s Second Lady, as she left a Braddock grocery store over the weekend. Fetterman, whose husband is Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, posted a video of the confrontation Sunday on Twitter.
She said the woman appeared to recognize her and began harassing her at a store near the Fetterman home in Braddock.
Fetterman 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.”
On Monday, Gov. Wolf released a statement Monday on the issue:
“The ethnic intimidation and racist speech spewed at the Second Lady of Pennsylvania is shameful and unacceptable. Racism and hate speech are always unacceptable, and unworthy of Pennsylvanians. No Pennsylvanian should ever be made to feel unwelcome in our commonwealth because of their race or ethnicity. Gisele Fetterman spends much of her time devoted to 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.
“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.”
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.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)