A North Dakota father publicly denounced his adult son Monday morning on a local news website after seeing him on television attending the Charlottesville, Virginia, white nationalist rally.
In a powerful open letter, Pearce Tefft of Fargo, North Dakota, wrote in the opinion section of Fargo's Inforum that his son, Peter, does not speak for the rest of his family, nor did he learn his beliefs from 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," Tefft wrote. "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," Tefft continued before explaining the reason he chose to speak out against his own son.
"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," Tefft said. "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 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," he said.
Tefft explained that since his son appeared on the national news, his entire family has been subjected to hateful rhetoric and harassment under the assumption that they share Peter's beliefs.
"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," Tefft said.
Tefft closed the open letter with a cruel remark Peter once made.
"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,'" Tefft wrote.
"Peter, you will have to shovel our bodies into the oven, too. Please son, renounce the hate, accept and love all," Tefft concluded.