A Leavenworth County Commissioner who was asked to resign last year for his overtly racist comments drew backlash again after making controversial comments toward a Black woman on Tuesday.
Commissioner Louis Klemp, a white Republican appointed by his committee in Oct. 2017, recently sparked criticism during a commission meeting this week, KCTV5 reported. The commissioners listened to a land-study presentation demonstrated by a Black woman during the forum when Klemp made derogatory comments.
“I don’t want you to think I am picking on you because we are part of the master race,” Klemp told the Black woman. He then tried to clean up his remarks by adding, “You have a gap in your teeth [while pointing to his gap]. We are part of the master race, don’t you forget that.”
Klemp’s colleague Commissioner Robert Holland told 41 Action News that he was shocked and in “disbelief” after Klemp’s insensitive words.
“What’s this master race,” said Holland. “None of us are master race. We’re all American and we’re all human beings. … He should resign. I don’t care if he’s got two days left, he should resign.”
This isn’t the first time Holland has called for Klemp to step down from his position. Last year Klemp stirred the pot with comments he made as the county commission voted to approve county holidays.
“It bothers me that if we’re going to have Martin Luther King Day, why don’t we have a George Washington? I think George was a pretty important guy,” Klemp said last year.
He also made comments about his family’s history with slaves.
“I’m going to be honest with you,” Klemp said, “My great-great grandfather had a slave.”
Commissioner Holland said he’s “ashamed” by Klemp’s actions and believes he’s a racist underneath.
“I think he is a racist myself. I do,” said Holland. “I think he owes an apology to that woman. I think he owes an apology to the whole commission and the county.”
Jan. 15 is Klemp’s last day as commissioner.