For Immediate Release
October 14, 2020
HARRISBURG - PA Chamber President and CEO Gene Barr issued the following statement condemning acts of intolerance and hate speech, including recent incidents in which racial slurs were directed at Pennsylvania’s Second Lady Gisele Fetterman and literature scribbled with Nazi references was sent to state Rep. Aaron Kaufer, R-Luzerne, which is particularly offensive and disturbing given Rep. Kaufer is a public servant of the Jewish faith.
“We are appalled by the recent acts of hate speech that were levied toward Pennsylvania’s Second Lady Gisele Fetterman and Representative Aaron Kaufer. Our state was founded on the principles of acceptance and inclusivity -- principles that leave no room for hatred of another person based on their race, religion, nationality, sexual orientation or any other identifying characteristic that helps to enrich and diversify the culture of our state and nation.”
“Over the last three years, we have been honored to include the presentation of the ‘Allegheny College Prize for Civility in Public Life in Pennsylvania’ award as part of our annual Chamber Dinner. While we unfortunately are not able to host this year’s dinner due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the toxic climate evidenced by these recent despicable acts underscore the need for more civility in our daily discourse and interactions, and highlight why this award is so important. These malicious and unacceptable acts of intolerance do not reflect who we are as a society and a Commonwealth.”
The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is the state's largest broad-based business association, with its statewide membership comprising businesses of all sizes and across all industry sectors. The PA Chamber is The Statewide Voice of BusinessTM.