VT Pizza Restaurant Fires Employee Who Participated In Charlottesville Rally

A chain pizza restaurant in Vermont on Tuesday fired an employee who participated in a white supremacist rally where violence erupted over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The Burlington Free Press reported that Ryan Roy, an employee at chain restaurant Uno Pizzeria and Grill’s location in South Burlington, was fired after he was identified as a participant in the rally.

Skip Weldon, chief marketing officer for Uno Pizzeria and Grill, told the Burlington Free Press that Roy was “terminated” and that the chain is “committed to the fair treatment of all people and the safety of our guests and employees at our restaurants.”

According to the report, Roy appeared in a Vice News video report on the rally. The restaurant became aware of his attendance at the rally through social media messages and phone calls.

Roy told the Burlington Free Press that he attended the rally and other events in Charlottesville over the weekend, and said of the reaction to his participation, “I think it kind of just proves my point, proves a lot of what I think, not that I needed further proof.”

“I think it’s group think,” he said, as quoted in the report. “Obviously I would advocate for racial separation and racial nationalism or repatriation.”

Roy said he would “even” favor “a return to” the time before the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which abolished a quota-based immigration system favoring northern European immigrants.

Until that legislation, Roy claimed, “Our country was a white country.”

A number of rally attendees were identified on social media after the events of the weekend. A hot dog restaurant in Berkeley, California, announced on Sunday that it no longer employed Cole White, who also attended the white supremacist rally.

Top Dog announced that White “chose to voluntarily resign his employment.”

“We pride ourselves on embracing and respecting all our differences and every individual’s choice to do as that person wishes within the boundaries of the law. We do not endorse hatred or any illegal conduct,” the company said. “We do respect our employees’ right to their opinions. They are free to make their own choices but must accept the responsibilities of those choices.”

Another participant in the rally faced public denunciation by his own father after he was identified.

Peter Tefft, who identifies himself on Twitter as a “pro-white activist,” appeared in a video of white nationalists marching with torches.

Tefft’s father wrote in a letter to North Dakota-Minnesota news site Inforum that Tefft was “an avowed white nationalist” with “hateful opinions” who was “not welcome at our family gatherings any longer.”

“He once joked, ‘The thing about us fascists is, it’s not that we don’t believe in freedom of speech. You can say whatever you want. We’ll just throw you in an oven,’” Tefft’s father wrote. “Peter, you will have to shovel our bodies into the oven, too.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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