Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Rep. Bobby Rush Removed from House Floor for Wearing Hoodie, Causing Peers to Fear for Their Lives

Photo courtesy of AP
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Donning a hooded sweatshirt and sunglasses in a show of solidarity for slain Florida teen Trayvon Martin, Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) was called out of order by Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) and escorted from the House floor. Rush appeared dressed in a suit jacket, but replaced it with a hoodie prior to addressing his colleagues with the following statement: "Too often, this violent act that resulted in the murder of Trayvon Martin is repeated in the streets of our nation. I applaud the young people all across the land who are making a statement about hoodies, about the hoodlums in this nation, particularly those who tread on our laws wearing official or quasi-official clothes." Like Martin, Rush was unarmed, African American and had his face concealed by a cowl. Although House rules prohibit representatives from wearing hats during congressional sessions, Rush was removed for what security personnel referred to as "grave safety concerns" and inciting panic. Witnesses claim mayhem erupted during the otherwise routine proceedings as representatives fled screaming for their lives, while others scrambled to grab firearms from security officers to defend themselves from the threat.

"Whatever Mr. Rush's point was in creating this unnecessary spectacle, it was lost on everyone in the chamber," said Warren Trefusstor, a commanding officer with Capitol security forces. "I honestly have no idea what he was trying to do apart from scaring the bejeezus out of us."

Trefusstor noted that the similarities between Travyon Martin and Bobby Rush were uncomfortably striking. Both were acting suspicious prior to hiding their faces in hoodies. Both had entered fairly homogeneous environments where their appearances made them stand out. In Sanford, Fla., African Americans make up about 25 percent of the population, with Caucasians dominating over 60 percent. The difference is more glaring in the House of Representatives, with only 9.4 percent of the population being African American. And like Martin, Rush was unarmed -- a perfect storm of similarities that could have led to disaster, as security forces were already preparing for a "Stand Your Ground" type confrontation.

Other security members called Rush's actions irresponsible. Because of their training, they said, officers stood poised to unholster their weapons and discharge them if necessary.

"When Mr. Rush replicated the Martin-Zimmerman scenario, all he accomplished was making a bunch of people frightened about whether they'd get home alive, or ever see their loved ones again," Trefusstor added. "An unarmed guy with a hoodie is a recipe for trouble. What else can a reasonable person presume? I'll tell you, though, if Mr. Rush had pulled a bag of candy from his pocket...well, the Democrats may have had a vacant seat to worry about filling."

(c) 2012. See disclaimers.

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