Rep. Bobby Rush tried to show his support for Trayvon Martin by wearing a hoodie, but he was kicked off the House floor for violating a rule against wearing hats.
Here is the video:
Rep. Rush said, “Racial profiling has to stop. Just because someone wears a hoodie does not make them a hoodlum.” It is interesting that the so called God fearing Christian Republicans interrupted Rush while he was trying to quote from the Bible. The presiding chair then unrecognized Rush and asked that he be removed from the chamber for violating a House rule against wearing hats in the chamber.
The presiding officer Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS) explained after Rep. Rush had been escorted off that, “The chair must remind members that clause 5 of rule 17 prohibits the wearing of hats in the chamber when the House is in session. The chair finds that the donning of a hood is not consistent with this rule. Members need to remove their hoods or leave the floor.”
The Republicans didn’t like what Rep. Rush was saying, so they interpreted a rule against hats to apply to a hoodie. (Godly Republicans can’t stand it when a Democrat quotes the Bible). Within moments there was grumbling from some corners accusing Rep. Rush of engaging in a publicity stunt. Of course, this was a publicity stunt. It was designed to highlight the ridiculousness of the some on the right’s position that his hoodie is the reason why Trayvon Martin was shot and killed.
Rep. Rush also made a valid point about racial profiling. If a white kid wearing a hoodie had been shot, would anyone be blaming the hoodie? I doubt it, but some reason minority kids in hoodies are deemed more threatening than white kids. The very premise behind this argument smacks of racism. As much as the right wants the focus to be on hoodies, it is really about the death of an unarmed young man and law enforcement’s unwillingness to investigate the incident.
Without the federal government getting involved, there may have never been an investigation. Trayvon Martin’s death would have been swept under the rug. The real issue here is how the shooting of an unarmed African American seventeen year old can be deemed not worthy of serious investigation by any police department in 2012. Rep. Rush was focused on racial profiling, but hand in hand with profiling is the presumption that African-Americans are guilty until proven innocent by some in law enforcement.
Trayvon Martin’s killing has struck a nerve because it represents the inequality in our system of law enforcement and justice taken to the extreme.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association