- Twitter/Unicorn Riot
The father of a North Dakota man who marched in a white-nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, this past weekend has denounced his son’s behavior, saying he “is not welcome at our family gatherings any longer.”
“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,” Pearce Tefft, the father of Peter Tefft, wrote in a letter to the Fargo newspaper The Forum. “We do not know specifically where he learned these beliefs. He did not learn them at home.”
The popular Twitter account @YesYoureRacist identified Peter Tefft on Saturday as a participant in the white-nationalist rally, where a woman was killed and several others were injured when a driver plowed a car into a crowd of counterprotesters.
According to his Facebook page, Peter Tefft identifies as a member of the alt-right. He declared the rally a success in a post containing pejorative references to nonwhites, non-Christians, and liberals.
“Ultimately, this was a victory for us,” he wrote. “Our movement will be emboldened by Charlottesville.”
But in the letter to The Forum, Pearce Tefft said his son had caused the family “heartbreak and distress.”
“I pray my prodigal son will renounce his hateful beliefs and return home,” he wrote. “Then and only then will I lay out the feast.”
He continued: “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.”
In a separate statement to The Forum, Jacob Scott, Peter Tefft’s nephew, distanced himself from his uncle, calling him a “maniac” who “scares us all.”
“Peter 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,” Scott told the newspaper. “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.”
Scott said his uncle’s connection to the protest had led people to harass his family.
“Our relatives were calling us in a panic earlier today, demanding we delete all Facebook photos that connect us to them,” he said.