Retired businessman and Republican candidate for Congressional District 2, Jim Brown, is letting people know what he thinks about various government aid programs for the poor.

On Facebook, Brown equates entitlements to the forced slavery of millions of men and women in colonial America. 

Explaining how slavery "really works", Brown argues a lack of education and generous government benefits keeps many Americans from breaking the chains of poverty. 

"I want folks to think seriously about how slavery really works. Back in the day of slavery, slaves were kept in slavery by denying them education and opportunity while providing them with their basic needs," he wrote on Facebook yesterday. "It is my sincere belief that over entitlements are a means of em- slaving the people by robbing opportunity while taking care of basic needs."

Reached for the comment, Brown said many people are missing the point.

He said slavery was an "awful, sinful" chapter of American history, but he still feels entitlement programs are preventing some people from being successful.  

Brown faces Martha McSally, Chuck Wooten and Shelley Kais in the Republican primary in August.

Updated: Brown has issued an apology.

"I apologize to anyone I offended," he wrote.

Contact reporter Joe Ferguson at or 573-4346. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFerguson