You often hear the idiom, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”. In many cases this is very true. For example, if you look at families around the country, you will notice that children typically end up supporting the same political party as their parents. The same is true for other family values, religions and ideologies. More often than not, children usually follow in line with their parents when it comes to certain beliefs.
So when one neo-Nazi man from North Dakota, named Peter Tefft took part in the White Supremacist march in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend, those who saw him pushing his beliefs through various media outlets would assume that those beliefs were passed down through his family. After all, most racists come from racist families, right?
In Tefft’s case, this couldn’t be further from the truth. After Peter Tefft’s father and family found out about Peter attending the Charlottesville march and also appearing in various newspaper and online articles, the family issued a statement. That statement came in the form a letter addressed to the editor of his local newspaper in North Dakota.
The letter in its entirety can be found below:
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.
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.
Obviously this man and his family are ashamed of their son and his views of the world. It’s very difficult for a grown man to stand up and denounce his own son, but certain acts are unforgivable even to a man’s own father. Perhaps this letter will make Peter Tefft rethink his own ideologies and realize that his beliefs are not in line with the loving values he was taught by his father.
What do you think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.