Kansas Republican Louis Klemp is in hot water after he told a black woman that he is part of the “master race” while she was speaking at a county planning meeting.
The incident took place in Leavenworth County, where county commissioner Louis Klemp made the remark to a woman making a presentation from an architecture firm. As Newsweek reported, Klemp’s comment appeared to be unprompted.
“I don’t want you to feel like I’m picking on you. Because we are part of the master race,” Klemp told the woman. “You have a gap in your teeth. We are part of the master race, don’t you forget that.”
The remark drew immediate backlash, including fellow commissioner Bob Holland who rebuked Klemp’s remark.
“None of us are a master race,” he said. “We are all Americans, we are all human beings. I think he is a racist. I do. I think he owes an apology to that woman. I think he owes an apology to the whole commission. And the county.”
A reporter from KSHB-TV tracked down Louis Klemp, who said off camera that the remark was meant to be a joke. But other county officials don’t see it that way, and he is facing growing calls to resign his position.
The report noted that Klemp had been appointed to his seat in the county government by the Republican Party after the previous seat-holder fell ill and had to resign. He served a previous term as well.
Leavenworth County KS commissioner Louis Klemp to an African-American woman:
"I don’t want you to think I am picking on you because we are part of the master race. You have a gap in your teeth. We are part of the master race, don’t you forget that."https://t.co/GedWLiVUfG
— In Spite of Trump ???? (@InSpiteOfTrump) November 15, 2018
Klemp had generated controversy for past remarks that were criticized as racist. Last year, he praised Confederate General Robert E. Lee as a “wonderful part of history” at a routine county meeting about holidays.
Klemp has been on the other sides of calls to resign as well. Back in 2016, he called on county commissioner Dennis Bixby to resign after Bixby made public remarks about Klemp during a meeting.
As the Leavenworth Times reported, Bixby spoke about a road project meant to correct a problem from when Klemp had previously served on the commission.
Klemp was offended at the remark and called on Bixby to resign.
“Bixby later said he will be happy to apologize to Klemp if he is wrong about the assertion that the problem was created when Klemp was a commissioner,” the report noted. “But Bixby said he would like to review his own research.”
Louis Klemp has not said if he will resign the position, but he won’t be a county commissioner much longer, anyway. His term is set to end on January 15.