A Kansas government official is calling for one of his colleagues to resign after he made comments about a “master race” to a Black woman.
The Leavenworth County commissioners were commenting on a presentation on a land-use study on Tuesday when the remark was made about the woman’s teeth, according to KSHB 4.
“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,” said commissioner Louis Klemp.
According to the Hill, those in attendance said that Klemp was making reference that he and the woman have gaps in their teeth.
Commissioner Robert Holland said he was shocked by the remarks and feels that his coworker should step down from the position. He also accused Klemp of being racist.
“I was shocked. I was in disbelief,” Holland told the station. “He should resign. I don’t care if he’s got two days left, he should resign.”
“What’s this master race?” Holland told KCTV5, per Newsweek. “None of us are a master race. 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.”
KSHB 4 did not speak to Klemp on camera, but he reportedly implied that he was making a joke.
The term “master race” stems from Nazi ideology, which referred to the German people as genetically superior to others, and has been used by White supremacist groups to promote racism.
Klemp made controversial comments last year when he praised Robert E. Lee during a conversation on the county’s holiday schedule.
“Not everybody does them all because we have Robert E. Lee…Oh God Robert E. Lee…wonderful part of history,” he reportedly said. “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’s last day on the job is Jan. 15.
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Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.