Following the violent protests in Charlottesville this weekend, President Trump's extended refusal to directly condemn white supremacists increasingly became the focus of many Americans attention. The White House scrambled to claim that President Trump's comments, which blamed the violence in Charlottesville on "many sides," was referring to White Supremacists but their arguments didn't stick. Though Trump, after two days, finally took to the podium and managed to condemn racists, many people, like Pearce Tefft, were quick to respond. Pearce's son Peter is a prominent white nationalist who was present at the protest this past Saturday. In an op-ed for Inforum, a news site that covers North Dakota and Minnesota (Tefft lives in Fargo), 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.
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, citing President Trump’s tepid response to Charlottesville. Trump denounced him on Twitter within minutes. To Trump, a personal act of integrity which slights him is far more offensive than literal nazis.