He publicly denounces his son’s beliefs
The father of an avowed white supremacist has written an open letter to his son after learning he’d attended Saturday’s rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The heartbroken man both denounces his child’s hateful views and leaves open a path to redemption, if he chooses.
Peter Tefft of Fargo, North Dakota, is one of the marchers identified by the @YesYoureRacist Twitter account that’s been outing members of the alt-right movement, calling out racist behavior and rhetoric since the events in Charlottesville.
Already known to Fargo residents as being “100 percent pro-white,” Tefft’s participation in the Charlottesville march is what motivated his father, Pearce Tefft, to write a letter in which he disowns his son for the hateful beliefs he harbors. It was published on The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead.
Tefft writes, “I am writing to all, with regards to my youngest son, Peter Tefft, an avowed white nationalist who has been featured in a number of local news stories over the last several months.”
He acknowledges that his son traveled to Charlottesville and attended the rally along with fellow white nationalists and wanted to set the record straight on where the Tefft family stands regarding Pete’s beliefs.
“I, along with all of his siblings and his entire family, wish to loudly repudiate my son’s vile, hateful and racist rhetoric and actions. We do not know specifically where he learned these beliefs. He did not learn them at home.”
Tefft explains that he’s always welcomed friends “of every race, gender and creed” and raised his children to do the same. “I have taught all of my children that all men and women are created equal. That we must love each other all the same.”
“Evidently Peter has chosen to unlearn these lessons, much to my and his family’s heartbreak and distress,” he says. “We have been silent up until now, but now we see that this was a mistake. It was the silence of good people that allowed the Nazis to flourish the first time around, and it is the silence of good people that is allowing them to flourish now.”
Pearce disowns his son, but expresses hope that one day, he may have a change of heart. “Peter Tefft, my son, is not welcome at our family gatherings any longer. I pray my prodigal son will renounce his hateful beliefs and return home. Then and only then will I lay out the feast.”
While leaving the door open for his son to return home, Tefft is also sure to let the world know that his family doesn’t share in Pete’s way of thinking. “His hateful opinions are bringing hateful rhetoric to his siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews as well as his parents. Why must we be guilty by association? Again, none of his beliefs were learned at home. We do not, never have, and never will, accept his twisted worldview.”
Tefft ends his letter on a chilling, yet, unflinching note.
“He once joked, ‘The thing about us fascists is, it’s not that we don’t believe in freedom of speech. You can say whatever you want. We’ll just throw you in an oven.’
Peter, you will have to shovel our bodies into the oven, too. Please son, renounce the hate, accept and love all.”
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