Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) was told to leave the House chamber Wednesday after wearing a hoodie while the House was in session, in protest of the killing of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.
Rush stood at the podium and said “racial profiling has to stop” as he removed his suit, which revealed a hoodie that he was wearing underneath.
Rush, a former Black Panther, then lifted the hood over his head and replaced his reading glasses with sunglasses, while Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.), presiding over the chamber, repeatedly pounded the gavel and said the “gentleman will suspend.”
The Illinois congressman didn’t suspend. He continued speaking, and his voice grew louder as he attempted to speak over Harper’s calls for him to stop.
“Just because someone wears a hoodie, does not make them a hoodlum,” Rush stated.
“May God bless Trayvon Martin’s soul, his family,” he added, before the House Sergeant at Arms escorted him out off the House floor.
Harper explained that Clause 5 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.”
Then it was over.
Martin’s death in February has sparked outrage from people who believe that George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain, should’ve been arrested following the shooting.
Martin, who was wearing a hoodie, was shot dead while walking home from a convenience store on Feb. 26.
Zimmerman said that he shot Martin in self-defense, after the teen attacked him.