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Congressman Kicked Off House Floor For Wearing Hoodie

Congressman Bobby Rush tried to make a statement about the Trayvon Martin case today, but it didn’t go so well:

Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) on Wednesday morning was asked to leave the House floor after removing his suit jacket to reveal a “hoodie,” then putting the hood of his sweatshirt on his head to protest the Trayvon Martin killing in Florida. A photo of Rush can be seen here.

“Racial profiling has to stop,” Rush said. “Just because someone wears a hoodie does not make them a hoodlum.” Rush also put on sunglasses.

Rush quoted the Bible while presiding officer Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) repeatedly interrupted him, then asked the Sergeant at Arms to enforce the House prohibition on hats in the chamber.

“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,” Harper said after Rush left. “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 whole hoodie meme, of course, has nothing to do with what actually might have happened between Zimmerman and Martin and everything to do with one stupid comment made by an idiot named Geraldo Rivera. The whole thing is really rather silly. In any case, Rush’s action was dumb, and in violation of House Rules, so it seems like he kind of deserves what he got.

Here’s the video:

Photo via Howard Mortman on Twitter

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. legion says:

    In any case, Rush’s action was dumb, and in violation of House Rules, so it seems like he kind of deserves what he got.

    I’m sure he was aware he was violating the rules, and expected exactly what happened – the audience he was addressing wasn’t his fellow Members.

    everything to do with one stupid comment made by an idiot named Geraldo Rivera.

    It was a bit more than “one stupid comment” – it was a deeply offensive and transparently racist attempt to justify Zimmerman’s shooting of Martin because he was a black kid wearing a hoodie – an incredibly common piece of clothing. Among Rivera’s drivel, this gem:

    “When you see a black or Latino youngster, particularly on the street, you walk to the other side of the street. You try to avoid that confrontation,” Rivera continued.

    Read that again, then remind yourself that this is spoken by Geraldo Rivera, not Pat Buchanan.

    And when even his own son called him out on this embarrassment, Rivera gave this delightful load of crap as an “apology:”

    “I apologize to anyone offended by what one prominent black conservative called my ‘very practical and potentially life-saving campaign urging black and Hispanic parents not to let their children go around wearing hoodies,’” Rivera said…

    Jesus, what a douche. Rep Rush was trying to point out the insane, insulting crap that passes for legitimate political discussion these days; using the podium for that is something Members have done for a very long time.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 2

  2. anjin-san says:

    in violation of House Rules

    Oh my goodness, someone broke a rule. The end of the Republic is upon us.

    For a libertarian, you seem to have a very wide conformist streak.

    whole thing is really rather silly.

    Well, maybe not so funny to black folks who have to worry about getting jammed up (or worse) for committing crimes like driving while black, walking while black, and breathing while black…

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 2

  3. Stan25 says:

    When will Fox News realize that Geraldo Rivera is a total idiot and get rid of him? This hoodie thing is just about as bad as the Al Capone safe thing. But then again, Fox has several idiots that need to be slapped with a pink slip, besides Geraldo. Bob Beckel and Alan Colmes are at the top of the list.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  4. John Burgess says:

    Huh. For me, hoodies are a British thing, and White at that.

    I once owned a hoodie, back in 1968 to be exact. I recall it because it was considered really dorky, too dorky to ever wear again.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  5. Tsar Nicholas II says:

    On the bright side, however, at least Rep. Rush didn’t stand there like Messrs Carlos and Smith and give the black power salute. That would have been over the top even by Chicago Democrat standards.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 9

  6. The whole thing is really rather silly. In any case, Rush’s action was dumb, and in violation of House Rules, so it seems like he kind of deserves what he got.

    A blog post from Doug Mataconis?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  7. Franklin says:

    @John Burgess: Heh, fashions change. I wasn’t around in ’68, but I did wear a hoodie most days this winter in Michigan. It’s comfy and warm, I don’t know if people thought I looked any dorkier than usual.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. Gromitt Gunn says:

    Hmm… last week women’s concerns over governmental control of their healthcare access was “silly.” This week, black peoples’ concerns over the safety of their young male relatives is “silly.”

    The common denominator here seems to be that the liberty concerns of any class of citizens to which Doug Mataconis does not belong is “silly.”

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 4

  9. the Q says:

    How does the hood qualify as a Hat? I have seen Jewish member wear yarmulkes in the House…does that not constitute a hat as well?

    Also the rich irony of a white guy from Mississippi kicking the black “yankee” out of the chamber.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  10. jpe says:

    @ the Q: rules stipulate that members are to wear suits.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  11. Dunbar says:

    @jpe: I certainly agree: there is, at least there used to be a dress code for Congress, employees, and tourists. This man could have got his point across without the amateurish, overacting job.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 8

  12. Have a nice G.A. says:

    Huh. For me, hoodies are a British thing, and White at that.

    Around here its a boxer, jogger, gang, hip hop, Rap, and a hard to get I.d.ed thing for dealers.And no I did not give a skin pigment.

    I live in between Milwaukee and Chicago.I also grew up in the streets and spent lots of time in them drinking, drugging and looking for drugs much of my adult life.

    I also don’t think the hoodie was to blame. I think the Barney Fife that someone gave bullets was to blame from what I have seen so far.

    As for racism and racial profiling, that is clearly on display.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1