Oklahoma’s Republican Party shared a viral Facebook post comparing food stamp recipients 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,” the group posted Monday on its official Facebook page, reported the International Business Times.
“Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks us ‘Please Do Not Feed the Animals,’” the group’s post continued. “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 #OKGOP”
The group drew a mixed response to the post and afterward shared columns arguing against welfare by black conservatives Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams.
The group joins other GOP candidates and lawmakers who apparently thought the viral post illustrated an important and ironic point about helping needy families avoid starvation.
Dr. Annette Bosworth, who ran unsuccessfully last year for South Dakota’s open Senate seat against four other Republicans, shared a viral image with nearly identical text during her campaign on her own Facebook page.
Minnesota Rep. Mary Franson (R-Alexandria) – whose district includes one of the state’s poorest counties — posted a video in March 2012 that referred to the same viral image.
Andre Bauer, then South Carolina’s lieutenant governor, compared food stamp recipients to stray animals in 2010 and suggested cutting their benefits so they would be less likely to “breed.”