Speed Reads

'renounce the hate'

In a heartbreaking open letter, a father denounces his son's participation in the Charlottesville white nationalist rally

In a letter published Monday on the North Dakota-Minnesota news site Inforum, a father called his son out by name for participating in the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend. "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," Pearce Tefft wrote. "Peter Tefft, my son, is not welcome at our family gatherings any longer."

Over the weekend, Peter was interviewed by a national news outlet while apparently marching with white nationalists, and on Monday he defended the alleged driver who plowed a car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one. Pearce struggled to grapple with his son's "vile, hateful, and racist rhetoric and actions," which he says his son "did not learn ... 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," Pearce wrote, pleading with his son to "renounce the hate, accept and love all."

Read the letter in full at Inforum.