The hoodie has been a garment of much interest in the past few weeks, ever since 17-year old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed because his own hooded sweatshirt made him look “suspicious” in the eyes of neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman.
Thousands of people have taken to wearing a hoodie in support of Martin and his family, including celebrities who want to raise awareness of the case, such as Diddy, Jamie Foxx, Chaka Khan, and Arsenio Hall.
Illinois representative Bobby Rush is the latest to use a hoodie in the plea for a full investigation into the case; the only problem is, he did it on the House floor, where there are strict rules about dress code.
Yesterday as Rush delivered the line, “Just because someone wears a hoodie does not make them a hoodlum,” he took off his suit coat to reveal the sweatshirt and pulled the hood up over his head to drive home his point. This immediately caused an uproar and Rep. Gregg Harper, who was presiding over the floor, had Rush escorted from the House.
“My actions today [Wednesday] on the floor of the House of Representatives were motivated by stories that young men and women are telling me about fear,” Rush told the Chicago Sun Times.
While the hoodie is only part of the issue revolving around the case, it has become a tangible symbol for Martin and for those who want to see change happen regarding how people–particularly young people–are viewed.
“I am very much in touch with young people in Englewood…I have a church, and they talk with me a lot about what it’s like to have to walk to school or church or to the store and not know if you’re going to get home safely,” Rush said.
Rush said: “I applaud the young people all across the land who are making a statement about hoodies. About the real hoodlums in this nation…particularly those who tread on our laws wearing official, or quasi-official, clothes.”
Congressman Bobby Rush is so right, fear those waring quasi official clothes not a hoodie
Rep. Bobby Rush, in a hoodie, is ignoring the chair’s attempts to gavel him down…