Yesterday, Bobby Rush, a Democratic Congressman from the South Side of Chicago, decided to speak on the House floor about Trayvon Martin, the teenager who was killed allegedly for wearing a hoodie and thus appearing dangerous to a Neighborhood Watch individual. Rush, aged 65, showed up in a suit jacket, but in an homage to some comic book superhero, removed the jacket to reveal he was attired in a hoodie. He was advised that House decorum does not permit speakers to wear head covering. Perhaps not realizing that on a hoodie, the headgear need not be worn, he refused to take it off, forcing the sergeant at arms to forcibly remove him.

According to House rules, a dress code is required when speaking from the podium. Men must wear coats and ties, women must wear dress clothes. Nobody is permitted to wear a hat. A long, long time ago, there was a Congresswoman named Bella Abzug. I believe she never removed her hat for any reason. This was before C-SPAN so I don’t know if Abzug ever addressed the House in her clown-like hats.

I suppose that Rush may start a trend. We’ll see other members of the Congressional Black Caucus attempt to speak, all wearing hoodies. I’m placing bets on Maxine Waters as the next member of this august body who is willing to prove she is still hip in this manner. Hopefully, when she goes to the Palm Restaurant for lunch, she remembers to leave the hoodie behind since I don’t think this restaurant allows them either. I love it when something that could have actually accomplished some good is termed into another silly symbolic gesture. But that’s what the CBC has to do to keep their jobs, I guess.

When Bobby Rush was young, he founded the Illinois chapter of the Black Panthers. He left the group in the 1970s to begin a short-lived career selling insurance. Failing in that endeavor, he ran for election as an alderman, which is probably a less corrupt office than history would tell us. He used that as a steppingstone to a Congressional seat. Coincidentally, his district has the highest percentage of African-Americans of any House district in the nation.

Here’s the video of Bobby Rush addressing the House and being removed while quoting from the Bible.