A white Kansas county commissioner has come under fire after telling a Black city planner that he belongs to “the master race” during a meet about her proposed development plan — which he rejected.
“I don’t want you to think I’m picking on you because we’re part of the master race,” Leavenworth County Commissioner Louis Klemp told Triveece Penelton, who was making a presentation about a development project. As Klemp spoke, he motioned toward his teeth and noted that they both had “gaps,” which meant they’re part of a master race.
“You know you got a gap in your teeth, you’re the masters. Don’t ever forget that,” he said to Penelton. He then said he didn’t like any of the land use options that she had presented to the commission.
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Now, several of his colleagues have called on Klemp to resign before his term ends Jan. 15. As noted by nbcnews.com, the GOP appointed him to the commission in October 2017 to fill a vacancy created by a resignation.
“In the best interest of the county, he should resign,” Commissioners Doug Smith told The Leavenworth Times.
“I was shocked. I was in disbelief,” said Commissioners Robert Holland. “He should resign. I don’t care if he’s got two days left, he should resign.”
Mayor Mark Preisinger urged Klemp to apologize to the city planner.
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“It just violated common decency. . . . It’s time for him to resign,” Preisinger said. “He’s been an embarrassment to the county, which reflects on the city and reflects on everyone.”
Klemp, who once ran for governor, told KSHB-TV that his comment was a joke. He has reportedly faced criticism in the past for making controversial and offensive comments.
He previously suggested that Robert E. Lee, commander of the Confederate Army in the Civil War, should be honored, and complained that George Washington owning slaves is probably the reason why he doesn’t have his own holiday.
“It bothers me that if we’re going to have Martin Luther King Day, why don’t we have a George Washington?” he said. “I think George was a pretty important guy.”