Gisele Barreto Fetterman is the wife of Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman and a former undocumented immigrant from Brazil, said Sunday’s incident happened after she was recognized at the store.
Pennsylvania’s second lady was called the word N … in a supermarket parking lot over the weekend and posted a video of part of the attack on Twitter, saying it is a reflection of how “deeply divided” the nation is.
Gisele Barreto Fetterman, founder of a non-profit organization that works with food insecurity and is married to Vice-Governor John Fetterman, was born in Brazil and immigrated to America when she was 8 years old. She speaks openly about her experiences of not having documents. The incident occurred on Sunday in Braddock, a neighborhood east of Pittsburgh, in western Pennsylvania, where the couple lives and where John Fetterman is a former mayor. Gisele and Fetterman were married in 2008 and have three children.
Fetterman, who has been dubbed “the coolest mayor in America” and “the mayor of Hell,” has developed a cult following over the years. The 1.80 meter politician with a shaved head has the zip code 15104 of his city tattooed on the inside of an arm. The other arm shows the dates when people in the city died of “senseless violence” while he was mayor.
At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Mr. Fetterman used a homemade mask to urge residents to put on masks.
The second lady, Mrs Fetterman, said the supermarket is about a two-minute drive from her home.
She said she had been the target of hateful comments online and in emails, but Sunday’s meeting was the first time she was attacked in the face.
Gisele Fetterman, 38, said she went to the supermarket on Sunday without security – a quick trip to buy kiwis – when a woman recognized her and started shouting racist insults, she even said, “There’s that word with N that Fetterman got married” and “you don’t belong here”. Barreto Fetterman said she was stunned and froze. The woman went back to shopping, Barreto Fetterman paid for the fruits and went to the car.
That was when the woman left the supermarket and went towards Gisele, who was already inside her vehicle and took the phone to record. She said she captured the last seconds of the interaction and posted the video to Twitter. It shows a woman leaning towards the vehicle, pulling down her purple mask and saying, “you are a n-.”
After the incident, Barreto Fetterman said she was shaking and crying and stopped to call her security team and apologize for going out alone.
Since she tweeted the video, Barreto Fetterman said the response has been entirely positive and supportive. In a tweet about the incident, she wrote about the woman: “This behavior and hatred are taught. If you know her, if she is your neighbor or relative, please teach her love instead. “
Governor Tom Wolf condemned the attack in a statement, saying that “the ethnic intimidation and racist speech spat on Pennsylvania’s second lady is shameful and unacceptable.”