PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) — Gov. Tom Wolf is condemning the verbal assault and hate speech used against the state’s second lady, Gisele Fetterman, as she left a Braddock grocery store over the weekend.
Fetterman, who is the wife of Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, posted video of the confrontation Sunday on Twitter. It shows an unidentified woman using a racial slur.
Fetterman also claims the woman told her, “She doesn’t belong here.”
Gisele Fetterman is Brazilian-American.
In a statement released this afternoon, Gov. Wolf says of the incident:
“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 says state police have identified and spoken with the woman involved in the incident. She says the woman appeared to recognize her and began harassing her late Sunday afternoon at a store near the family’s home in Braddock.
According to Fetterman, the woman directed a racial epithet at her repeatedly, and even followed after the second lady as she retreated to her vehicle in the parking lot. That’s where Fetterman recorded a two-second clip and posted it to social media.
“This behavior and this hatred is taught,” she said on Twitter. “If you know her, if she is your neighbor or relative, please, please teach her love instead.”
A state police spokesman says he is unsure of the status of any investigation and offered no immediate comment.
Stay with KDKA for Meghan Schiller’s full interview with Gisele Fetterman at 4, 5 and 6 p.m.
(TM and © Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)