On Tuesday, the Oklahoma GOP removed and apologized for a Facebook post, titled a “lesson in irony”, which some say compared food stamp recipients to wild animals, setting off backlash on social media.
In the Facebook post, the Oklahoma Republican Party began by stating that the U.S. Department of Agriculture “is proud” to be distributing “free meals” to the greatest amount of recipients ever: 46 million people, the Washington Times reported. The Facebook post went on to state that the National Park Service is requesting that people refrain from feeding the animals because they’ll “grow dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves.”
The post concludes: “Thus ends today’s lesson in irony #OKGOP”
Tuesday, the chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party, Randy Brogdon, apologized in a Facebook message in which he wrote that the post was “supposed to be an analogy” which was misinterpreted by many, Reuters reported.
This post was supposed to be an analogy that compared two situations illustrating the cycle of government dependency in America, not humans as animals
As it went, the post was shared over 1,000 times and received many comments, some coming to the defense of the post while others shared their indignation. The general sentiment of those opposed to the post expresses how many of those who receive food stamps — also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — are the disabled veterans, the elderly, and the working poor.
“Shame on you, OKGOP, for comparing children and families living in poverty to animals! Your lack of compassion and tact is embarrassing to the entire state,” commented Liz Ragland of Oklahoma.
Bethany K Kinney commented, “This is embarrassing for all Republicans! I love my party and am a conservative, but government programs are there to help those in need! I have a daughter with autism and it is terrible that OK won’t mandate that insurance companies pay for ABA, the government needs to help finance services for special needs kiddos but Oklahoma refuses. Not all government assistance programs are bad including food stamps! Please take this post down, it just shows ignorance.”
In Oklahoma, about 604,000 of the state’s residents receive SNAP benefits.