Leavenworth County commissioner Louis Klemp is a white man who had something to say to Triveece Penelton, a black woman and planning commissioner with 16 years of experience who was appearing before his planning committee on behalf of an architecture firm.
During the course of the meeting, Klemp said to her...
"I don't want you to feel like I'm picking on you. Because we are part of the master race. You got a gap in your teeth you're the master race, don't ever forget that."
The incident was caught on video.
Leavenworth commissioner sparks criticism www.youtube.com
Bob Holland, who is currently serving as another one of Leavenworth County's commissioners, stated that he felt that Klemp should make a full apology.
"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."
He went on...
"I'm ashamed of one of our commissioners and what he has done. We shouldn't be labeled as Leavenworth County, the racist county. That's the way I feel we are being labeled."
It should be noted that Klemp was not actually elected to his seat. The Republican was appointed after another commissioner left his post due to ill-health. Klemp's term ends on January 15th, 2019.
This is not the first time that Klemp has stirred controversy for racist comments.
In a meeting about holidays to celebrate American icons, Klemp stated about Confederate leader Robert E. Lee...
"Not everybody does them all because we have Robert E. Lee...Oh God, Robert E. Lee, wonderful part of history,"
He went on to talk about how his grandfather owned a slave before bemoaning that George Washington would never be honored with his own day of celebration like Martin Luther King Jr. because Washington owned slaves.
Then Klemp said...
"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."
It should be noted that President's Day is on George Washington's birthday, and until the 1980s, it was solely a celebration of our first President. Occasionally Lincoln and Jefferson were also celebrated.
Many thought that Klemp should be fired immediately.
@LeavenworthKS He should be fired on the spot, not asked to resign!— Danny Lage Barcala (@Danny Lage Barcala)1542351799.0
@LeavenworthKS I am from NE Tennessee and am completely disgusted by Louis Klemp’s remarks. The Man was appointed t… https://t.co/fArBimHbCC— Mary Powers (@Mary Powers)1542342489.0
@LeavenworthKS Why not just take a stand and fire him? Louis Kemp is unfit to serve as any kind of government off… https://t.co/8650o4Azo2— Elsie Eye (@Elsie Eye)1542393467.0
But the city of Leavenworth made it clear that, unfortunately, they do not have the authority to fire Klemp.
@horassonang We do not have the authority to do that. It is a separate governing body from the City.— City of Leavenworth (@City of Leavenworth)1542404440.0
@mlp60 We agree he should no longer serve on the county commission.— City of Leavenworth (@City of Leavenworth)1542404418.0
@Texas_Dexter His term expires in two months and the voters of Leavenworth County have already selected a much more… https://t.co/8SFd68MOUw— City of Leavenworth (@City of Leavenworth)1542404541.0
Despite the fact that Leavenworth County agreed that Klemp was not fit to serve on the county commission.
@basicstotheback Most certainly not.— City of Leavenworth (@City of Leavenworth)1542404663.0
Though some were annoyed that this is hardly the first time Klemp has made racist remarks, yet he has never been asked to resign before.
As of this writing, Klemp is still serving at his post.