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Archived: White Kansas Official Tells Black Women He Belongs to the 'Master Race': Video

During a public commissioner meeting, a Leavenworth County commissioner, Louis Klemp, a white man, made “master race” comments to a Black woman.

Triveece Penelton is a city planner. She was at the meeting last week to present on behalf of a landscape and architectural firm. Penelton was giving her assessment on development options when Klemp voiced he didn’t like the options then went into a bizarre rant.

“I don’t want you to think I’m picking on you, because, we’re part of the master race,” Klemp said.

He then called attention to his own teeth.

“You know you got a gap in your teeth, you’re the masters, don’t ever forget that.”

“Master race” is historically a term that’s part of the Nazi ideology of Aryan supremacy.

Leavenworth County Kansas Commissioner invokes Master Race


(Click here for complete video of the meeting.)

Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer is calling for Klemp to resign. Colyer, said, in a statement on Saturday:

“Racial and discriminative language have no place in our society and most especially when spoken by someone holding public office.”

Klemp was not elected to his position, but appointed to his seat by the Republican committee.

The population of Kansas is 86.5 percent white, a much less diverse population than average. In 2017, the state had a lower Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita ($46,890) than the U.S. average ($53,128.54); and a lower GDP growth rate (1.03 percent) than the U.S. average (2.3 percent).

Commissioner Bob Holland said Klemp’s “master race” comments had nothing to do with the agenda.

“What’s this master race,” Holland told KCTV. “None of us are master race. We’re all American and we’re all human beings.”

The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas slammed Klemp in a Facebook post:

“At a time when hate-based violence is on the rise across the country, we must make it clear that we stand together as diverse communities and that we do not tolerate hate-based speech, especially not in local government.”

Klemp told KSHB off-camera that his comment was a joke. Mark Loughry, the administrator of Leavenworth County, defended Klemp’s comments:

“On several occasions over the past year Mr. Klemp has made reference that those with a gap in their front teeth are members of the master race. At Tuesday’s meeting he stated that he and the lady presenting to the Board were both members of the master race due to the gap in their teeth.”

Other county commissioners have called on Klemp to resign as well.

“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.”

Klemp’s term as commissioner ends on Jan. 15.

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