FARGO, North Dakota (KMSP) - A father in Fargo, North Dakota posted a public and unapologetic letter to a local newspaper disavowing his son after a series of public statements and events outlining his "white nationalist" beliefs, culminating in a trip to Charlottesville, Va. last weekend to join in several rallies and violent clashes with counter protesters.
Peter Tefft is the youngest son of Pearce Tefft, who wrote in to the Forum of Fargo Monday to distance himself from the beliefs of his son. Peter has made headlines in recent months with his outspoken beliefs, including an instance in February in which WDAY-TV reported several signs were posted in downtown Fargo accusing Peter of being a white supremacist and a Nazi, asking people to tell him he's not welcome here.
Peter was identified publicly as a member of the Charlottesville marches Saturday by Twitter user "Yes, You're Racist," who in recent days has taken to identifying the attendees online with photographs from the rallies.
Another white nationalist protester killed one woman and injured at least two dozen more when he rammed his car into a group of counter protesters, making international headlines in the process.
Pearce Tefft writes that his son did not learn his beliefs at home, saying he taught all of his children to love each other equally.
He says, ultimately, silence is what allowed the Nazis to flourish the first time around and that silence is what allows them to grow again today.
"My son is not welcome at our family gatherings any longer," Pearce Tefft wrote. "I pray my prodigal son will renounce his hateful beliefs and return home. Then and only then will I lay out the feast."
He goes on to ask that himself and other family members not be held responsible for his son's warped views, and ends his letter by recalling one of his son's anecdotes.
"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.'" he writes. "Peter, you will have to shovel our bodies into the oven, too. Please son, renounce the hate, accept and love all."
When asked if he was a "white supremacist" or a "Nazi" in an email exchange with the Forum earlier this year, Peter Tefft answered by saying he was a pro-white Christian.
"'White Supremacist' is a word used to intimidate Christians and to stifle discord when all of us should be communicating," he said. "I'm interested solely in legal political action to further pro-white interests. We as white people have a right to exist, our own identity and a right to campaign politically and legally for our own interests."