Kansas commissioner explains ‘master race’ joke amid calls for his resignation

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. –  A Leavenworth County Commissioner is explaining the meaning behind a controversial comment he made during a recent meeting.

The commissioners had been listening to a land-use study and commenting on the presentation.

At one point during his comments, commissioner Louis Klemp addressed an African-American woman who had just presented the study.

“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,” Klemp said.

41 Action News received an email about Klemp’s comments and tried to contact the commissioner several times by phone.

He would not speak on camera when 41 Action News knocked on his door. Instead, off-camera he implied his comment was a joke. He says he made the comment about the master race because he and the woman both have gaps in their teeth.

After the comments, other commissioners began calling for his resignation.

“I was shocked. I was in disbelief,” said commissioner Robert Holland. “He should resign. I don’t care if he’s got two days left, he should resign.”

This is not the first time the commissioner’s remarks have sparked controversy.

Last year, while discussing the county’s holiday schedule, Klemp made controversial remarks about Robert E. Lee.

“Not everybody does them all because we have Robert E. Lee…Oh God Robert E. Lee…wonderful part of history,” Klemp said at the time.

Klemp’s term as a commissioner is scheduled to end on Jan. 15.

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