The sausage making of interviewing people who don’t want to talk to journalists….
By Nate Thayer
I have been organizing notes and interviews for articles I wrote in 2018. The below is now in a file of one neo-Nazi white supremacist I wrote about earlier this year:
February 8, 2018:
At 6:57 this morning, I received a telephone call from Casey Umland, a 23-year old racist anti-Semite member of the Ku Klux Klan from Florida. He was responding to this email I sent him last night:
Hi Casey:My name is Nate Thayer and I am an investigative reporter who follows the Loyal White Knights of the KKK and the White Nationalist movement. I understand the Port St Lucie police visited you about the Klan leaflets you dropped last week. I am doing a story tonight and would like to talk to you–either off or on the record–about your involvement with the LWK and the leaflet drop.
Please give me a shout back at this email or 443-225-1498.
I can promise you all confidentiality on request. But regardless I will be doing a story tonight that involves your leaflet drop. I encourage you to contact me.
Mr. Umland responded by email at 2:51 AM:
“How did you get my Email?”
I responded this morning at 6:51 AM:
Hi Casey: What is a good time to call you today. I am at 443 225 1498.
Mr. Umland then called me at 6:57 AM:
“I didn’t put up no leaflets. You need to stop snooping around and mind your own business. You do know there is an open criminal investigation against me. I am not talking to you media rats. Burn in Hell!” he said.Mr. Umland then hung up.
I responded by email at 7:50 AM:
I will be publishing a story today on the issue of leafleting. That story will be naming you regarding the Port St Lucie flier drops near your house and at the PSL synagogue.
The story includes how it is mainly constitutionally protected free speech. I have more than enough sourcing and corroboration of how you personally are responsible for the flier drops to publish now (including you taking credit, in writing, for the flier drops yourself) whether we speak further or not, but of course I want to hear anything and everything you care to say.
We can talk either on or off the record. I would encourage you to give me a call back at 443 225 1498.
A bit of friendly advice: Lying to a journalist that you “had nothing to do with the leaflets” is never a good thing, especially when, according to my excellent law enforcement sources, your fingerprints were found on the said leaflets that were posted, among other places, four doors away from your house on telephone poles and on the front door of a Port Saint Lucie synagogue. And telling a journalist to “Burn in Hell” is never a polite way to start a conversation nor conducive to good publicity.
Let’s start over from the beginning. I am interested in why you have the political views you do. You should, I would argue, defend them, not deny them. Give me a shout back at 443 225 1498.
(I attached 6 documents, including screen grabs from his own conversations to other KKK members from Klan internal private chat rooms where he takes credit for the leaflet drops)
At 7:57 AM, Mr. Umland replies:
NEVER ONCE did I admit to putting that flyer on that synagogue. I never took responsibility for that, nor have I been charged or convicted of it. So that is SLANDER. You like getting sued? I hope not.
At 8:21 AM, I replied by attaching a screen grab of Mr. Umland taking credit for taping hand made flyers on the front door of a Jewish synagogue where he wrote, among other things, “Hitler was right” and called for killing “six million more” Jews. He then boasted of this in writing on an internal Klan website. I accompanied the document with the following message:
Let’s start over here. You have no reason to be hostile towards me. I am doing a story on how leafleting one’s political views is almost always protected free speech. It is very unlikely you will be charged with anything, but I am not a cop, so I don’t know. I do know you are being investigated and paid a visit by the FBI who wanted to chat with you.
On a separate note, please cut out the bullshit “do you like getting sued?” threats. I have been doing this for 30 + years. I have pissed off people with far bigger armies than you. So that doesn’t work with me.
Plus, like you, I am protected by the first amendment to the constitution. In addition, it is not slander (which is verbal speech), but rather libel (which is written speech) I think is what you meant. But both slander and libel require that one either states or writes incorrect information with “malicious intent”. Given what I wrote is both true and meant to contribute to the common good, it is neither libel nor slander under U.S. law. But I am not here to give you legal advice, I am seeking for you to explain your actions and views.
Given that you wrote (see attachment) “I recently made the news in my town for fuckin with Jews LOL” and then posted a link to a news article on the synagogue leafleting, among numerous other comments authored by you, I am on very solid journalistic and ethical grounds. Not to mention the cops found your palm prints on the posters, including those posted four houses away from your home and at the Jewish house of worship.
Please give me a call and we can discuss why you have the political views you do (and, now that I think about it, why the cops have your palm prints on file, which suggests you may have been a very bad boy on at least one prior occasion).
It takes a man to defend his political positions–not deny them.
I am, again, at 443 225 1498.
At 8:35 AM Casey Umland replied:
“How the hell did you get that picture? That’s from a private message!
What I’m being investigated for was a hate crime. I can get in serious trouble even get jail time for that. If I was already convicted and it was said and done, I would do your little interview. Even though I don’t like race traitor media rats. I’d still do it for the publicity. No such thing as bad publicity. I’ll have to ask my superior officer first though.
Still wanna know how you acquired that screen shot first.
At 9:34 AM I replied:
Casey: I got that screen grab (one of many) because I am a very good journalist and I take facts very seriously. I also, of course, protect my sources like a nun protects her virginity, so I won’t say how I obtained that (and many other) documents which show you, without a scintilla of doubt, created, distributed, and placed those leaflets near the intersection of SE Floresta Drive and SE Chaloupe Avenue, near the intersection of SE Floresta Drive and SE Evergreen Terrace, and at the synagogue (not to mention they had your finger and palm prints on them, I am reliably told).
I have no horse in this or any other race nor do I have a political bias. I listen for a living. If you want to talk (on or off the record), please give me a call before noon today, when I will be publishing.
Why are you so hostile towards me? I may well be doing an article that defends your right to distribute leaflets stating your political beliefs. Take a deep breath. Defend your beliefs. Explain why you believe what you do. I promise you I will listen and publish that without bias or agenda.
Again, 443 225 1498.
At 10:20 AM, Mr. Umland responded:
So now I can tell people in LWK that there are leaks in their group and warn them. Thank you for showing me the truth. I don’t care if you put my name out there, people already hate me. Christ said you will be hated. My concern is that people will try and hurt my family members.
I do apologize if my words were harsh. I was hostile towards you because I don’t know you, it’s nothing too personal. I just don’t trust media people because Jews control the media. I’ve seen how they twist people’s words. Thing is, I’m not even in the Klan. I’m an applicant. Meaning I don’t have permission to do interviews yet.
My beliefs aren’t special; I believe what every other Klansman believes. I’m a nationalist Christian who believes Whites are the supreme race and God’s chosen people. Jews are Satan’s children; the Edomites, our evil twin brother.. and blacks are just lower humans who should be separate from us…and America belongs to the white race only.
That’s all you really need to know about what I believe. Put that in your publication, and tell them I said it. It’s really that simple, I’m nobody special, just a white man who wants his people to have a future. I don’t hate you for what you do, you’re my brother at the end of the day (unless you’re a Jew or mongrel (I’m assuming you’re white)). I just hope you wake up and repent before almighty Yahweh so you too can be saved.
I responded to Casey at 10:33 AM:
Thanks for the thoughtful response.
I don’t hate you or anyone and no apologies necessary, although I thank you for forwarding them.
I don’t twist words. I let people say their piece, which I wish you would so you can put your best (and full) foot forward.
This is your opportunity.
You may be a “Klan applicant”, but you are a free man in a free country who does not need permission from anyone to speak freely.
And thanks for the bible lesson. I am guessing you believe in Christian Identity interpretation of the Good Book that all non-whites and Jews are “mud people” who are “Spawns of Satan” who cannot get past St. Peter and enter the pearly gates of Heaven. You are allowed to believe anything you want. That is what Makes America Great.
For the record, I don’t happen to be a Jew or a Mongrel, but sometimes I wish I were. I bet I am whiter than you. But my dog, my pal, Lamont, however, is a mongrel (not to mention black and an illegal immigrant from Mexico), and I love him very much, so I take great exception at insulting mongrels.
I am not sure what I need to repent for (although my parents probably have a few suggestions).
Why do you not like blacks and Jews? Did something happen to you? Were you victimized while in school?
Again, you should call me at 443-225-1498.
I am interested in you and your opinions.
Nate (a white guy who is not a Jew or mongrel but has no problem with them, especially my dog, Lamont, who I suspect might be a Jew, too)
At 11:44 AM Casey responded:
I said all I’m gonna say to you. Now leave me the hell alone ya weirdo.
At 1:00 PM I responded:
I am sorry you have, for the time being, decided not to speak with me further. In the process of doing due diligence to find out how you came to your political beliefs, I will be contacting others in your family and among your friends to try and understand what led you to distributing the leaflets you did. I will call your father shortly to get his take on what has contributed to you now under law enforcement investigation for hate crimes. If you have reasonable reasons why I should not, I remain all ears and open to listening to you.
What I would like to know is:
1/ How you came to your political beliefs?
2/ Why you believe blacks, immigrants, Jews, and others are inferior to yourself?
3/ Whether you have had any real life interaction with White Nationalists?
4/ Have you met in person any other members of the LWK?
5/ Whether you defend your anti-Semitic fliers you taped to the PSL synagogue property?
6/ Whether you had specific experiences in life that led you to not like blacks, Jews, immigrants etc. etc.?
7/ What do you do for a living?
8/ What are your life goals?
9/ Whether you believe you will be arrested for your leafleting campaign?
10/ What the cops actually asked you, said to you, and how you responded?
11/ Whether you feel you are being treated fairly or discriminated against for your political beliefs
To be clear: I have no problem with and defend your right to say and believe whatever you do or want to, no matter how offensive or goofy I may or may not personally think it is. I would have hoped you would have the integrity to defend those beliefs. And I still do.
I remain available for a civil conversation.
A bit of advice: You might want to hold back on calling journalists “weirdos” and “Jews” and other alleged derogations (I don’t mind being called a weirdo and if being Jewish was good enough for Jesus Christ—who, above, you proclaim to be your Lord and savior—it is good enough for me) as they do not address the issues at hand nor contribute to a serious conversation on these important issues.
I remain at 443 225 1498
Mr. Umland did not reply and the series of conversations, which were mostly in writing ended there.
Since at no time were his extensive, detailed comments over more than 12 hours ever promised or requested to be off the record, I had more than enough comments from Mr. Umland to quote him by name and sufficient for a fair and balanced article of solid journalism.
After it was published, Umland re-contacted me and said “everything you wrote was true except I was technically not a full member of the Loyal White Knights” of the KKK. “I had applied for membership but was still a probate.” He added “there are too many idiots and drama” in that Klan group, so he was shopping around for another neo-Nazi white nationalist organization to join.
Prosecutors decided Mr. Umland’s distribution of racist and neo-Nazi posters was constitutionally protected free speech and he was not charged with a hate crime. However, the cops were sufficiently annoyed that Umland was charged with one count of “littering on public lands” and adjudicated guilty in April of 2018.