The Oklahoma Republican Party posted a message on its official Facebook page Monday afternoon comparing Americans on government food assistance to wild animals.
“The Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is proud to be distributing this year the greatest amount of free Meals and Food Stamps ever, to 46 million people,” wrote Party Chairman Randy Brogdon in a now-deleted Facebook post.
“Meanwhile, the National Parks Service, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks us ‘Please Do Not Feed the Animals.’ Their stated reason for the policy is because ‘The animals will grow dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves.’”
“Thus ends today’s lesson in irony,” Brogdon added.
Reached for comment on Tuesday, the Oklahoma GOP pointed the Daily Dot to a new Facebook post written by Brogdon.
“Last night, there was a post on our OKGOP Facebook page, and it was misinterpreted by many,” he said, apologizing for any “misconceptions” his original post created. “I offer my apologies for those who were offended—that was not my intention.”
“This post was supposed to be an analogy that compared two situations illustrating the cycle of government dependency in America,” he added, “not humans as animals.”
According to the USDA Food and Nutrition Service, more than 600,000 Oklahoma residents received assistance under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in 2014. The program provides nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low-income individuals and families across the U.S. each year.
Illustration by Jason Reed