As of July 10, 2015, there were 608,492 individual Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP recipients in the state. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the federal agency responsible for providing SNAP to the states, the average Oklahoma recipient receives $118.47.
On Monday evening, the Oklahoma Republican Party on its Facebook page likened recipients of this federal assistance for life-sustaining sustenance to a pack of wild animals. They did so in a most distasteful showing of their true beliefs, in what they deemed to be “today’s lesson in irony.” The administrators of the group’s Facebook page deleted comments and blocked those who expressed disdain for their tasteless post at the expense of the poorest of our society.
The same party that is fighting against the state Supreme Court regarding the 10 Commandments monument and continuously alleging religious persecution must have forgotten what the Bible said on this very issue. For instance, in Matthew 25:35 “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink…” Proverbs 28:27 “Whoever gives to the poor will not want, but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse” and Proverbs 14:31 “Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him.”
I find this commentary by the OKGOP particularly offensive because I am a product of our nation’s social safety net. My mother was a single mother raising three children while putting herself through college and working three jobs. If it weren’t for SNAP we would have surely starved. My very hard working mother now has multiple master’s degrees, my sisters have bachelor’s degrees, my twin sister also has a master’s degree, and I now have a doctorate.
This is just evidence of a much bigger problem in this state. The OKGOP will give a corporate tax break and then publicly ridicule those that need the $118.47 to survive. How is it acceptable to wage war on those that are less fortunate while simultaneously giving grants of corporate welfare without a second thought? It is not acceptable, and those that will sit idly by are equally wrong. This is a wakeup call to all those that have gone with the flow for far too long, those that have voted against their own interests, and those who have been apathetic. The time for action is now.
The OKGOP should be ashamed of itself, it should issue a GENUINE apology, and it should begin creating policy that helps those most in need rather than publicly villainize them. If you are going to claim to be the party of Christian and family values at least start acting Christ-like. This fraud has been perpetrated for far too long.
The Pontotoc County Democratic Party meets every third Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Agri-Plex. Join us on Facebook.