"Please do not feed the animals": Oklahoma GOP compares food stamp recipients to park animals

OK GOP compared recipients to animals who "grow dependent on handouts and not learn to take care of themselves"

By Sophia Tesfaye

Senior Politics Editor

Published July 14, 2015 7:00PM (EDT)

          (AP/Allen Breed)
(AP/Allen Breed)

The Oklahoma Republican Party compared Americans receiving food stamp benefits to park animals fed by the public in a Facebook post Monday evening.

In the since-deleted post, the Oklahoma GOP offered a so-called "lesson in irony" by comparing the distribution of food stamps to 46 million Americans to a policy of the National Park Service to discourage the public from feeding animals "because the animals will grow dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves"

Party Chairman Randy Brogdon offered a sort-of apology in another Facebook post today: "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, not humans as animals. However I do think that it’s important to have conversations about government welfare programs since our dependency on government is at its highest level ever.

This isn't the first time the GOP has compared Americans to animals. In 2014, South Dakota Senate candidate Dr. Annette Bosworth's posted a nearly identical post to her Facebook campaign page:

More dishonest attacks from the left. We are being attacked by a far left wing group. Please help us get our message out...

Posted by Dr. Annette Bosworth on Monday, April 28, 2014

Here, via TPM, is a screen grab of the post:

By Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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Food Stamps Gop Oklahoma Poverty Republicans