Pennsylvania Second Lady Gisele Barreto Fetterman recorded a woman who called her the n-word in the parking lot of an Aldi Supermarket Sunday afternoon. The incident occurred after Fetterman made a spur-of-the-moment trip to the bargain brand to buy some kiwis, without her usual personal security detail.
According to Barreto Fetterman, the unidentified woman verbally accosted her inside the store, telling her she “did not belong here.” She then followed Barreto Fetterman to her car, removed her face mask, and shouted, “you’re a n*gger.”
Barreto Fetterman uploaded the recording to Twitter.
“*TRIGGER WARNING* I love love love this country but we are so deeply divided. I ran to the local grocery store and was met by and verbally assaulted by this woman who repeatedly told me I do not belong here,” Barreto Fetterman wrote. “The confrontation continued into the parking lot where I was able to finally capture it after the crying winded down. This behavior and this hatred is taught. If you know her, if she is your neighbor or relative, please, please teach her love instead.”
finally capture it after the crying winded down. This behavior and this hatred is taught. If you know her, if she is your neighbor or relative, please, please teach her love instead.
— Gisele Barreto Fetterman (@giselefetterman) October 11, 2020
Barreto Fetterman, a former undocumented immigrant whose family brought her to the United States from Brazil when she was seven, became an American citizen in 2009.
The experience was deeply traumatizing, Barreto Fetterman said in an interview with The Washington Post
“She said, ‘There’s that n-word that Fetterman married. You don’t belong here. No one wants you here. You don’t belong here,’” Barreto Fetterman recalled. “The fact that she was so comfortable and bold to just do it to my face with an audience…that was really scary.”
She added that the attack reignited the constant fear she constantly experienced while her family had to live under the radar, as well as the daily worry that someone was going to discover her family’s status and deport them back to Brazil.
“It was a really long time of really living in the shadows and being really scared of every knock at the door,” she said. “To then being at a place where I’m so grateful that I can vote and that I get called for jury duty and I can finally belong to this country that I love so much — to then having these moments where I completely feel unwelcome all over again and scared.”
Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey, a Democrat, voiced support for Barreto Fetterman on Sunday night with a tweet of his own.
“Today at the grocery store, PA’s Second Lady @giselefetterman was subjected to a racial slur and taunts,” Casey wrote. “As she said: ‘this hatred is taught.’ It’s on us to teach our children kindness, acceptance and inclusion, and condemn hate whenever and wherever we see it.”
Today at the grocery store, PA’s Second Lady @giselefetterman was subjected to a racial slur and taunts. As she said: “this hatred is taught.” It’s on us to teach our children kindness, acceptance and inclusion, and condemn hate whenever and wherever we see it.
— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) October 12, 2020
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.