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Pa.'s Second Lady films and posts racist verbal assault


A daily newsletter by Spotlight PA
Your Postmaster: Jordan Wolman
October 13, 2020
A racist attack, contact tracing troubles, Kutztown coronavirus cases, and a tempting piece of real estate. Wake up, it's Tuesday.

Pennsylvania's Second Lady Gisele Fetterman was the subject of a racist verbal attack while shopping near her home on Sunday

A short video shows a woman harassing Fetterman, who is the wife of Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman. Gisele Fetterman said the woman began verbally assaulting her inside a grocery store before following her out to the parking lot to continue to berate her, calling her a slew of racial slurs.

Fetterman is a native of Brazil and has spoken openly about being undocumented as a child.

The Context: Officials and Pennsylvanians immediately expressed outrage over the incident. A flood of comments expressed support for Fetterman on Twitter after she posted the video.

"It’s on us to teach our children kindness, acceptance, and inclusion, and condemn hate whenever and wherever we see it," said Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, a Democrat, in response to the incident.

Gov. Tom Wolf also tweeted Tuesday to condemn the "ethnic intimidation" and hatred directed toward Fetterman, calling it "unacceptable and unworthy of Pennsylvanians."

For her part, Fetterman appealed for decency. "If you know her, if she is your neighbor or relative, please, please teach her love instead," she wrote on Facebook


“It’s not a safe, healthy environment right now, especially when you factor in the lack of social gatherings, which is good, and the inability of the administration to actually keep these people safe."

–– Paul Berlet, a Kutztown University student from Easton, on his school's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic
POST IT: Thanks, Lynne P., for this photo of "the wrath of Lake Erie." Send us your hidden gems, use the hashtag #PAGems, or tag us on Instagram at @spotlightpennsylvania.
RACE AGAINST TIME: Philadelphia contact tracers are rushing to contain surging coronavirus cases. They're facing time constraints as well as difficulties in getting potential exposures to divulge information — though a new app could offer some help.

SWING COUNTY, SWING STATE: As part of a project that takes a closer look at Northampton County, lehighvalleylive.com spoke with some of the voters who could help determine which way Pennsylvania swings.

NOW YOU SEE ME: New records released by Attorney General Josh Shapiro's office show the state's top law enforcement agency has participated in trials for a controversial facial recognition technology called Clearview, PublicSource reports. Shapiro's office denied using the technology in any cases.

ON TARGET: A look into campaign spending by NPR found national groups are especially targeting Erie voters when it comes to spending per voter. Democratic nominee Joe Biden recently held a campaign event in Erie, a traditionally Democratic corner of Pennsylvania that went for President Donald Trump in 2016.

CLOSING TIME: A restaurant in Allegheny County that refused to enforce state masking rules has filed for bankruptcy. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Crack’d Egg's lawsuit against the Department of Health is on hold while the bankruptcy case proceeds. 

» CLAIM YOUR SEAT: Register now for our upcoming live interview with Secretary of the Commonwealth Kathy Boockvar on ensuring a fair and accurate election in Pennsylvania. You can also submit your questions.

SECOND ACT: If, like me, the pandemic has made you fantasize about dropping everything and starting all over again, maybe you'd be interested in buying this drive-in theater in York County. Pros: It's a business that can survive social distancing. Cons: Unlimited popcorn. 

A THRILLING PROSPECT: You don't need to be in Central Pennsylvania to enjoy this year's Harrisburg Book Festival, which has gone virtual. This year's lineup includes an up-and-coming writer you may have heard of: John Grisham. 

THE HARD QUESTIONS: I honestly didn't even know this was up for debate, but — what is milk? The more I think about it, it's an oddly difficult question to answer. Let's settle this once and for all.

WHY CAN'T WE BE FRIENDS? Do you feel disconnected from other Pennsylvanians, both near and far? The Free Library of Philadelphia, in partnership with other library systems across the state, is launching an initiative to foster a dialogue between people from different backgrounds. The first session is Oct. 27

WON'T SLOW DOWN: This 100-year-old man is putting me to shame. The State College-based running fanatic is still breaking records, one jog at a time.

Unscramble and send your answer to scrambler@spotlightpa.org. We'll shout out the winners here, and one each week will get some Spotlight PA swag.

Yesterday's answer: Mastermind

Congrats to our other winners: Irene K., Shaun D., Brandie K., Steve D., Craig W., Jeffery S., Lynne E., John C., Heidi G., Patricia R., Tracey C., John H., Chris W., Denise L., Joel S., Tanya W., Ron P., Dianne K., Kelly K., Carol D., Irene R., Karen W., and Beth T. 
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