Monday 23 July 2018

'He scares us all' - 'Nazi' who marched in white supremacist rally in Charlottesville is disowned by family

Peter Tefft claims to believe a 'white genocide' is underway
Peter Tefft claims to believe a 'white genocide' is underway
Police stand during a rally in Seattle at which hundreds of demonstrators and counterprotesters converged one day after violent clashes in Charlottesville. Photo: AP

Alexandra Wilts

A man who marched in the white supremacy rally in Charlottesville has been disowned by his family.

Peter Tefft of Fargo, North Dakota, “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,” said his nephew, Jacob Scott, in a statement to a local television station.

On Saturday, Charlottesville became embroiled in violence when white nationals, who were protesting against the removal of a Confederate statue, clashed with counter-demonstrators.

“[Peter] scares us all, we don’t feel safe around him, and we don’t know how he came to be this way,” Mr Scott continued. “My grandfather feels especially grieved, as though he has failed as a father.”

(Steve Helber/AP)
(Steve Helber/AP)

In February, Mr Tefft told a reporter in Fargo he was “100 per cent pro-white.”

Mr Tefft’s father said he and the rest of the family are entirely against his son’s racist beliefs.

In a letter published on Monday in The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, Pearce Tefft wrote that he and other family members “wish to loudly repudiate” his son’s “vile, hateful and racist rhetoric and actions.”

“We do not know specifically where he learned these beliefs,” Mr Pearce Tefft wrote. “He did not learn them at home.”

A white supremacist militia member armed an assault rifle in Charlottesville. Photo: REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
A white supremacist militia member armed an assault rifle in Charlottesville. Photo: REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

In the letter, the father 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,” he wrote.

“We have been silent up until now, but now we see that this was a mistake,” the elder Tefft continued. “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 said Peter is no longer welcome at family gatherings.

White nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the
White nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the "alt-right" take refuge in an alleyway after being hit with pepper spray after the "Unite the Right" rally was declared an unlawful gathering Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

“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.

Police stand during a rally in Seattle at which hundreds of demonstrators and counterprotesters converged one day after violent clashes in Charlottesville. Photo: AP
Police stand during a rally in Seattle at which hundreds of demonstrators and counterprotesters converged one day after violent clashes in Charlottesville. Photo: AP

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