Pearce Tefft recently wrote an open letter to his son. The other day, PZ posted about the fanatical racist relative he had. I grew up with a rabid John Bircher and bigot extraordinaire. While I was not completely silent in the face of that bigotry, I certainly did not speak up as often or as loudly as I should have done. It’s past time we stop playing all these little games with ourselves, pretending that these bigots aren’t really terrible people, because they are so and so’s Auntie Martha, or Uncle John, and so forth. It’s past time to stop pretending that all the nazis aren’t a problem. They are, and they have now descended into open murder. Conservative Christians are raging in their defense of nazism, and frantically attempting to pin blame everywhere except where it belongs. It’s past time for us all to gather our courage, and speak out. And to keep on speaking out. The more of this we do, the more will join in, finding support. Siobhan has an excellent reason to start yelling at the top of your voice.
My name is Pearce Tefft, and I am writing to all, with regards to my youngest son, Peter Tefft, an avowed white nationalist who has been featured in a number of local news stories over the last several months.
On Friday night, my son traveled to Charlottesville, Va., and was interviewed by a national news outlet while marching with reported white nationalists, who allegedly went on to kill a person.
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.
You can read the rest of Mr. Tefft’s letter here.