Neirin Gray Desai, Daily Mail, October 27, 2022
ohn Fetterman’s wife has revealed she believes swimming is historically ‘very racist’ and turned the pool at the lieutenant governor’s residence in Pennsylvania into public facility to teach water safety to minority children.
Gisele Fetterman, wife of Democratic Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman, appeared on the iGen politics podcast on Thursday and discussed her work as Second Lady of the state.
Her appearance came just days after her husband faced Republican candidate Dr Oz in a TV debate in which he frequently garbled his words – an issue widely attributed to a stroke he suffered five months ago.
Early in the podcast she told listeners that her family turned down the lieutenant governor’s mansion but wanted to make use of the pool because ‘historically, swimming in America is very racist.’
Later in the interview she defended the fact that her husband used closed captions during his debate with Oz, comparing requiring them in a debate to having to turn up the brightness on a phone.
She said that she thought the media ‘missed a mark’ in the way it responded to her husband’s requirement and branded it as ‘ableism’.
Gisele Fetterman began the podcast by listing the work she was involved with as the Second Lady of Pennsylvania – a title reserved for the wife of the state’s lieutenant governor.
She tells listeners that for the second time in Pennsylvania history her family chose to reject the opportunity to stay in the tax payer-funded residence in Lebanon County.
‘While we did not want the mansion, that mansion came with a pool and the pool I wanted,’ she said.
‘The dream was to open this pool and make it a public pool, turn it into the people’s pool and ensure that young people across Pennsylvania could learn how to swim and learn water safety and kind of work to right some of the wrongs,’ she added.
Gisele Fetterman then seemed to make allusions to the fact that people in minority ethnic groups are more likely to die swimming.
‘Historically, swimming in America is very racist and usually when you look at drowning statistics it usually affects children of color because of lack of access,’ she said.
Fetterman’s wife goes on later in the interview to criticize the way the media responded to her husband’s requirement to read from a script during his TV debate against Oz on Tuesday.
‘I don’t know if its lack of exposure or lack of education. I think the media certainly needs more training,’ she said, adding: ‘You know they talk about their investments in diversity but they really missed the mark.’
She then compared requiring closed captions to needing a high brightness on a smartphone.
‘Most people use accommodations on some level, whether that’s how bright you keep you phone when you’re reading. These are all accommodations,’ she said.
‘Maybe closed captioning is a new thing to them but I’ve been using closed captioning my whole life, I learned how to speak English watching Mister Rogers and reading closed captions,’ she said, referring to the children’s show hosted by Fred Rogers, who was from Pennsylvania.