Following the violence in Charlottesville over the weekend, and President Trump’s continued inability (until he had to do so) to directly condemn white supremacists’ and neo-Nazis’ actions, the White House and other members of the Trump administration scrambled to assure the press that the President totally meant “white supremacists” in his comments. Yet many others quickly took their own steps to say that white supremacy is not okay.
One person who did not mince words denouncing white nationalism was Pearce Tefft, a Fargo resident whose son Peter Tefft is a prominent white nationalist who was present in Charlottesville. In an op-ed for Inforum, a news site that covers North Dakota and Minnesota, the elder Tefft disavowed his son:
“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.”
Tefft goes on to say that it’s not fair that the rest of the family is associated with his son’s “twisted worldview” before asking his son to “renounce the hate, accept and love all.”
On Monday, Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier, the only black member of Trump’s American Manufacturing Council, very publicly resigned his position as a presidential business advisor because of President Trump’s tepid response to Charlottesville. Weirdly, President Trump condemned Frazier’s decision within minutes on Twitter. Elsewhere on Twitter, a campaign to identify torch-wielders from Friday night’s rally led to Cole White, a Berkeley hot dog restaurant employee, losing his job.