Across the nation, activists and people angry about the Trayvon Martin shooting started marching and wearing hoodies to show solidarity. In the time leading up to Trayvon’s murder (yes, I am classifying it that way), George Zimmerman noted that the teenager looked suspicious with the hooded sweatshirt up over his head. Fox News personality Geraldo Rivera tried to blame the hoodie as a reason for Trayvon’s death.
Regardless, the solidarity reaching all over the country showed the outrage of citizens to this senseless killing. The solidarity reached the floor of the House of Representatives as Illinois Congressman Bobby Rush took off his suit jacket and pulled his hoodie over top his own head.
As Rush spoke about the murder and racial profiling, he removed his suit jacket to reveal a grey hoodie, while saying, “just because someone wears a hoodie, [it] does not make them a hoodlum.” Rush flipped up the hood, put on a pair of sunglasses, and began reciting Bible verses, prompting Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS), acting as speaker, to bang his gavel and demand that Rush stop speaking. “The member is out of order,” Harper scolded. “The member is no longer recognized.”
“The chair will ask the Sargeant of Arms to enforce the prohibition on decorum,” Harper said. “Members need to remove their hoods or leave the floor.”
Congressman Rush was removed from the floor because of the hoodie. It supposedly broke rules and yet again showed the stupidity in judging what a person wears instead of how they act.
I have no idea about Congressman Gregg Harper’s opinions on this whole tragedy, but this enforcement of a vague rule comes off as ignorant. Why not allow the message and the symbolism of the hoodie?
Watch the whole thing here:
His Congressional office released the full text of his speech:
Mr. Speaker, the death of Trayvon Martin is an American tragedy.
Too often this violent act is repeated in the streets of our nation.
Racial profiling has to stop. Just because someone wears a hoodie, does not make them a hoodlum. Just because someone is young and wears a hoodie does not make them a hoodlum. Just because someone is a young black male and wears a hoodie does not make them a hoodlum.
A hood on the head does not mean a hood in the head.
I applaud the young people across this nation who are making a statement about hoodies and the real hoodlums particularly those who tread on our laws wearing official or quasi-official cloaks.
The Bible teaches us in Micah 6:6-8, these words, “He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?”
And in the New Testament, Luke 4:18-20 teaches us these words: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim the good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free.”
I urge all who hear these words to heed this lesson. May God bless Trayvon Martin’s soul, his parents and family, and may God bless us all.