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In a dramatic moment on the House floor this morning, Illinois Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) was asked to leave the chamber after taking off his suit jacket and revealing that he was wearing a hoodie during a speech in tribute to Trayvon Martin.
Rush, who donned the hood and put on sunglasses in support of Martin, the Florida teenager who was gunned down last month in a racially-tinged incident, was escorted out of the House chamber after repeated requests by the presiding officer to leave. Wearing a hood or hat while the House is in session is against House rules.
"Racial profiling has to stop Mr. Speaker," Rush said while taking off his suit jacket, "Just because someone wears a hoodie does not make them a hoodlum."
Here's the deal. I could almost go along with escorting Rep. Rush off the House floor because it's a stunt cheapening this august body, but come on. The House Floor has seen some stunts in its day. Remember when the day after swearing in almost all of the incoming congresscritters, the Republicans decided to take the day to read the Constitution, only they read just the parts they liked? Or when Louie Gohmert (always good for a cheap stunt or two) unveiled the "Obama Apology" chart on the House floor? Or when Eric Cantor brought forth legislation reiterating that our national motto is in fact ... wait for it ...our national motto? Good times.
So it's perfectly fine for a congressman to decry abortion on the House floor, saying African Americans were better off during slavery. It's perfectly legitimate for a congresswoman to question the patriotism of another congressman and Marine vet. It's even acceptable to honor a muckraking liar who smeared Democratic institutions and employees.
But to point out viscerally that racial profiling is a life and death problem? That's apparently a bridge too far.