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Letter: Family denounces Tefft's racist rhetoric and actions

Peter Tefft, center, was among the "pro-white" demonstrators who marched at the University of Virginia on Friday. His father wrote a letter to his hometown newspaper denouncing his son's views. Credit: Photo by Evelyn Hockstein for The Washington Post.1 / 2
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My name is Pearce Tefft, and 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.

On Friday night, my son traveled to Charlottesville, Va., and was interviewed by a national news outlet while marching with reported white nationalists, who allegedly went on to kill a person.

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.

I have shared my home and hearth with friends and acquaintances of every race, gender and creed. 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. 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.

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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.

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.

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.

Tefft lives in Fargo.

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