Politicians Who've Worn Hoodies to Protest the Trayvon Martin Shooting

Rep. Bobby Rush got kicked off the House floor today for wearing a hoodie. A look at some of the other politicians and public figures who have donned one too.

In one of those rare moments of C-SPAN excitement, Illinois Democrat Bobby Rush was kicked off the House floor Wednesday morning after he donned a hoodie during a speech about racial profiling and the death of Trayvon Martin. Rep. Gregg Harper, a Mississippi Republican who was presiding over the chamber, tried to cut Rush off, then had the sergeant at arms remove him for violating the rules of the House floor, which prevent the wearing of hats -- a rule Harper interpreted to include hooded sweatshirts.

Rush is no rookie at thumbing his nose at authority -- he was a Black Panther leader in his youth -- and it seems pretty clear he knew what he was doing, since he moved to the podium wearing a blazer, then removed the coat, pulled up the hood, and replaced his glasses with sunglasses only once he'd begun speaking. "Racial profiling has to stop. Just because someone wears a hoodie, does not make them a hoodlum," Rush said. Perhaps not, but it does make him a violator of the rules of decorum of the U.S. House of Representatives, according to the presiding chair.

Although the Illinoisan was able to find a uniquely attention-grabbing way to do it, he's not the first to wear a hoodie in tribute to Martin, the black teenager shot in a Florida town under questionable circumstances last month. It's a reaction to Geraldo Rivera's it-would-be-funny-if-it-wasn't-so-appalling statement last week, when he said, "I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin's death as [shooter] George Zimmerman was." Since, then everyone from LeBron James to Keith Olbermann has been spotted sporting hoodies, with results ranging from the sobering to the silly. Here are a few of the most notable ones from the political sphere, and beyond.

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David A. Graham is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he covers political and global news. He previously reported for Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, and The National.

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