The overall focus that the Trayvon Martin case and protests have generated, got even the interest of politicians. Democrat Bobby Rush got actively involved in the Trayvon Martin protest and for his action against racial profiling the United States Congress reacted promptly by shutting him down.
Democrat Bobby Rush was not only shut down from the mic, but was even escorted from the House floor after he appeared wearing a hoodie and talked about racial profiling. His gesture was a way to bring focus to an urgent matter and ask for a full investigation into the controversial Trayvon Martin case, the teenager shot down by a neighborhood watch captain.
While he was presiding over the House floor, Bobby Rush took down his suit jacket to reveal a hoodie he actually put over his head. Meanwhile he started addressing the members of the House with the following words: “Racial profiling has got to stop. Just because someone wears a hoodie does not make them a hoodlum”.
“I applaud the young people, all across the land who are making a statement about hoodies, about the real hoodlums in this nation, specifically those who tread on our law wearing official or quasi-official cloaks” said the Democrat.
His speech and the actual fact that he dared to wear a hoodie while on the House floor angered his fellow Democrat party member Gregg Harper that he started yelling Bible verses. Harper accused Rush of being out of order for wearing the hoodie , which apparently is in contradiction with a longtime prohibition against wearing hats on the House floor.
Bobby Rush’s gesture was interpreted poorly in the Congress. The focus switched immediately from the Trayvon Martin case to more “serious” matters such as floor attire rules. House Speaker John A. Boehner gave a small speech remembering the House members the guidelines of what was called “appropriate floor attire”.
Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader, only commented that when she attended her first House session women were not allowed to wear pantsuits. As she added she’d rather focus on more urgent matters such as Medicare and the middle class.
Bobby Rush’s choice of protesting against racial profiling has emphasized what politicians and lawmakers of the U.S. consider to be important. Unfortunately for the Trayvon Martin supporters and Rush, the gesture was not understood by lawmakers.