A man who participated in the violent white supremacy rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, has been condemned by his family.
Peter Tefft of Fargo, North Dakota, was one of the marchers whose photo was posted to the Twitter account @YesYoureRacist on Saturday, August 12. It captured the attention of thousands — including his dad. Two days later, his father, Pearce Tefft, blasted his youngest son’s beliefs in an open letter published in a local newspaper.
In the wrenching piece, Pearce confirmed the 30-year-old is a white nationalist and condemned his “vile, hateful and racist rhetoric and action.”
The disgusted dad explained that Peter’s actions go against everything he has been taught. “We do not know specifically where he learned these beliefs. He did not learn them at home,” Pearce wrote. “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.”
Pearce continued: “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.”
Peter is no longer welcome at family gatherings. “I pray my prodigal son will renounce his hateful beliefs and return home,” Pearce wrote. “Then and only then will I lay out the feast.”
Peter’s father isn’t the only relative publicly disavowing him. “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,” his nephew Jacob Scott said in a statement to WDAY TV. “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 failed as a father.”
Peter works in construction and owns a drywall business in Fargo. In his Twitter bio, he describes himself as a “Pro-White Activist.”
Peter defended the alleged driver who crashed into a group of protestors, killing one person and injuring dozens. “Fatal crashes happen all the time, and it is clear that the young man’s car was being attacked on all sides by a roving mob of Antifa when he slammed the gas pedal and accelerated,” Peter wrote in a Facebook post published Monday. “He will be acquitted because his life was clearly in danger.”
Peter told WDAY he went to Charlottesville to hear speakers, listen to music and to exercise the right to free speech. “We’re not politically incorrect, we’re factually correct,” he said. “I’m certainly not a hateful person.”