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Congressman Kicked Off Floor for Wearing Hoodie

Gesture meant to show support for Trayvon Martin


Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., was trying to make a point today about the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. Unfortunately for Rush, he ran afoul of Congress’ rules when doing so.

At times, Congress allows House members to give one minute speeches on a topic of their choosing. Rush chose to give his speech on Martin, but he also decided to wear a hooded sweatshirt and sunglasses while giving his speech. The congressman currently presiding over that session of Congress, Gregg Harper, R-Miss., spoke out, saying that hats were forbidden in the House chamber, and then asked the Sergeant-At-Arms to enforce the rule. Rush says he was then led off the floor by someone from the Sergeant-At-Arms’ office.

Rush, who is African-American, said in a later interview with CNN that he was outraged that George Zimmerman, who allegedly shot Martin in what he claims was self-defense, had not been arrested yet.

“The assailant has not been charged. Something’s wrong with that. The police let him go … something’s wrong with that. This is just a mere example, indication, protest about the failure of the judicial system as it relates to African-American males and the clothing that they wear.”

Rush is from Illinois’ first congressional district, which covers most of the south side of Chicago and southwest suburbs. Rush’s district also includes the home of President Barack Obama.

-Benjamin Nanamaker, InvestorPlace Money & Politics

The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.

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