No one is immune to ignorance in America. Far too many people are comfortable spewing out hate-filled, vitriolic messages with little concern for consequences.

The latest verification of the nastiness came over the weekend, when Gisele Fetterman, the wife of Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, was verbally accosted by a woman outside of a store near the Fettermans’ home in Braddock.

According to Gisele Fetterman, an unidentified woman repeatedly used a racial epithet toward Fetterman, who went to her vehicle as the woman followed her.

In a short video recorded by Fetterman from her vehicle, the woman continued to repeat the racial epithet.

The Associated Press reported Fetterman, who was born in Brazil and identifies as Latina, routinely travels with a state trooper for security. On Sunday, Fetterman did not have an escort as she made a quick trip to a nearby store.

This level of disrespect is unacceptable but, unfortunately, seems more prevalent these days. By not stopping it right now, by not calling out this ignorance as inexcusable, disgusting and repulsive, we silently acknowledge it is OK.

It’s not and never will be.

This isn’t more bothersome because it is the second lady of Pennsylvania. It is bothersome because it is growing so common that many of us don’t even flinch. Even worse, it’s a taught behavior.

“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.”

We wonder what drives the need to degrade someone because of what they look like or what they believe or what political candidate they support? Does it make you feel better?

If so, be better than that. Be the one that breaks the cycle of ignorance and hate. 

Lift people up instead of putting them down.

NOTE: Opinions expressed in The Daily Item’s editorials are the consensus of the publisher, top newsroom executives and community members of the editorial board. Today’s was written by Managing Editor Bill Bowman.

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