Rep. Bobby L. Rush was gaveled out of order and escorted from the floor of the House of Representatives chamber on Wednesday after he took off his jacket to reveal he was wearing a sweatshirt with a hood, and then proceeded to pull the hood over his head while reading his statement.
“Just because someone wears a hoodie does not make them a hoodlum,” Mr. Rush, an Illinois Democrat and member of the Congressional Black Caucus, said as he began to read verses from the Bible.
Hoodies have become a national symbol after the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old black youth who was killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Florida who said he was acting in self-defense. Trayvon’s supporters have accused George Zimmerman, the volunteer, of racial profiling in part because of the hoodie the victim was wearing at the time.
Rep. Gregg Harper, the Mississippi Republican who was presiding over the session as speaker, immediately began to bang the gavel and declare Mr. Rush out of order.
After Mr. Rush finished and was escorted out, Mr. Harper said House rules ban the wearing of hats while the chamber is in session, and said that includes hoods.