Dad Disowns White Supremacist Son in a Painfully Honest Open Letter

father disowns white supremacist son
Pearce Tefft/Facebook

Photos of the events that unfolded at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend have rocked the world. But for one North Dakota dad, the photos were personal. Spotted among the marchers at the "Unite the Right" march at the University of Virginia was Pearce Tefft's son Peter. And this dad's reaction to that news is going viral.

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What would you do if you found out your child was a white supremacist who proudly calls himself a "pro-white activist" when interviewed by news stations? Who uses phrases like "white genocide"?

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This is Peter Tefft:

Some parents might shake their heads and stay silent. But Pearce Tefft has made the brave choice to come forward, to speak out against hate and intolerance ... and to speak out against his own child.

In a letter in the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, Pearce makes no bones about distancing himself from his child's beliefs:

"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."

Tefft admits that staying silent in the face of his son's actions in the past was a mistake -- a mistake that he related to the silence of people who allowed the Nazis to take power in Europe in the 1930s. So he's stepping out now, banning Peter from family gatherings and begging his son to "renounce his hateful beliefs and return home." He writes:

"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."

He later adds in his letter, "We do not, never have, and never will, accept his twisted worldview." It's not easy when our kids disappoint us. They are our kids. We love them -- even when their views are diametrically opposed to our own.

But we need to be wary of giving our kids a pass just because we love them. If we would be angry and horrified at the same actions in someone we didn't raise, then we should be angry and horrified at the actions in our kids.

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Pearce Tefft is in an unenviable position right now. But the world is depending on parents just like him to speak up, to say something, to tell their kids (yes, even the adult ones) that white supremacy is not and never will be okay.

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