A man who participated in Saturday's horrific and deadly hate fest has just been disowned by his parents. Now, the rest of his family is also joining, issuing statements that tell the media and the public they do not want to be associated with their racist relative.
Pete Tefft, a marcher who traveled from Fargo, North Dakota, to participate in the Charlottesville rally on Saturday, was ousted by the Twitter account @YesYoureRacist. Now, Pearce Tefft, the man's father, is saying that he and his family want to “loudly repudiate” their son's “vile, hateful and racist rhetoric.”
In a letter he wrote in The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, the elder Tefft added that he and his wife are disowning their son.
Explaining he isn't aware “where he learned these beliefs,” he reassured readers that the Tefft family has nothing to do with their son's white nationalist stance.
Back in February, the younger Tefft told reporters he was “100 percent pro-white,” but that the words “Nazi” or “white supremacist” did not apply to him. Still, he was seen during the Saturday “Unite the Right” event.
According to his father, his children all learned that “all men and women are created equal.” On top of that, he added, his family always believed that “we must love each other all the same.”
However, he continued, “Peter has chosen to unlearn these lessons, much to my and his family’s heartbreak and distress.”
Claiming he and his family “do not, never have, and never will, accept his twisted worldview,” the elder Tefft said they regret staying silent for so long. He also made a reference to the rise of Germany's Nazis to make a point about speaking up in the face of evil.
“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.
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.”
Jacob Scott, the younger Tefft's nephew, also went to the media to make a statement against his now infamous family member, saying that Pete Tefft “is a maniac, who has turned away from all of us and gone down some insane internet rabbit-hole, and turned into a crazy nazi.”
“He scares us all, we don’t feel safe around him, and we don’t know how he came to be this way. My grandfather feels especially grieved, as though he has failed as a father,” he added.
It's incredibly tough to have a family member go down this path, especially if he's putting his entire family in danger of being scrutinized and attacked. While we're glad to see people speaking against evil even among their own, we hope people start to heal by trying to fix this problem with more love, instead of hate.
Banner and thumbnail image credit: Reuters/Joshua Roberts