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‘He Didn’t Learn This at Home’: Father Disowns Neo-Nazi Son Identified as Charlottesville Rally Participant

Family members of Peter Tefft describe him as a “maniac” who holds racist, neo-Nazi beliefs. (Image courtesy of @UPROXX)

A father from Fargo, N.D., has responded publicly after his son was identified as one of the hundreds of white nationalist protesters who marched in the violent “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend.

On Monday, Aug. 13, Pearce Tefft penned an open letter to members of his community to set the record straight on his family’s views and the current status of his relationship with his son, Peter Tefft, who the North Dakota man described as an “avowed white nationalist.”

The elder Tefft explicitly denounced his son’s racist and hateful ideology, and maintained that it wasn’t something he picked up at home.

“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,” the North Dakota man wrote in a strongly worded letter to local newspaper The Forum. “We do not know specifically where he learned these beliefs. He did not learn them at home.”

Tefft noted that his family has welcomed friends of all colors, genders and creeds into his home and said he taught his children that “all men and women are created equal.” He said his son’s decision to “unlearn these lessons” has caused his family severe heartache and pain.

“We have been silent up until now, but now we see that this was a mistake,” Pearce Tefft wrote. “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.”

The father went on to ban his son from all family gatherings until he decides to “renounce his hateful beliefs and return home.”

“Then and only then will I lay out the feast,” he said of his “prodigal son.”

The father’s public condemnation came after, Peter Tefft was identified by a social media campaign launched by Twitter account “Yes, You’re Racist,” according to NPR. The group worked throughout the weekend to call out un-hooded white nationalists who partook in the violent rally late Friday, Aug. 11 and Saturday, Aug. 12. So far, at least one attendee has lost his job while several others have faced severe scrutiny, the news site reported.

Other members of Tefft’s family have spoken out, including Peter Tefft’s nephew, Jacob Scott, who also denounced his uncle in a public statement.

“In brief, we reject him wholly, both him personally as a vile person who has HIMSELF made violent threats against our family, and also his hideous ideology, which we abhor,” Scott said. “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. He scares us all, we don’t feel safe around him, and we don’t know how he came to be this way.”

In a Facebook post, Scott noted that Tefft’s racist beliefs have brought threats, shame and ingnominy to their family.

Both Scott and Pearce Tefft vowed to push back against their hateful relative, with Pearce Tefft writing, “You will have to shovel our bodies into the oven, too.”

The father said his statement was in reference to a joke Peter Tefft had told about how fascists deal with differing opinions: “We’ll just throw you in a oven.”

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