The family of one of the participants in Saturday’s white supremacy rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, says they are disowning him.
Pete Tefft of Fargo, North Dakota, is one of the Charlottesville marchers whose photo was posted on @YesYoureRacist, a Twitter account that calls out racist behavior and attitudes.
In February, Tefft described himself to a reporter as “100 percent pro-white.”
Now, Tefft’s father says he and the rest of the family are 100 percent against his son’s racist beliefs.
In a letter published Monday in The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, Pearce Tefft wrote that he and other family members ”wish to loudly repudiate” their son’s “vile, hateful and racist rhetoric and actions.”
“We do not know specifically where he learned these beliefs,” Pearce Tefft wrote. “He did not learn them at home.”
In the letter, the elder Tefft said he has taught his children that “all men and women are created equal” and 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,” Tefft wrote.
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.
Other relatives of Pete Tefft are also publicly disavowing him.
Jacob Scott, his nephew, released this statement to local station WDAY TV:
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. My grandfather feels especially grieved, as though he has failed as a father.
HuffPost has reached out to Pete Tefft and Pearce Tefft, neither of whom immediately responded.