Longtime congressman Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) is no stranger to using visible protests to prove his point. The outspoken former Black Panther defense minister has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1993, bringing his bold style into debates involving the law of the land. Today, Rush was escorted from the House floor after stepping to the podium adorned in a hooded sweatshirt, directly criticizing the shady details of the Trayvon Martin case.
Rush took to the microphone, blasting racial profiling and calling into attention the slaying of the teenager in Florida at the hands of Neighborhood Watchman George Zimmerman last month. Unapologetic and defiant, Rush continued his speech even as Republican congressman Gregg Harper attempted to lambast his peer for breaking House dress codes.
“Racial profiling has to stop,” said Rush after he took off his suit jacket. “Just because someone is wearing a hoodie doesn’t make them a hoodlum.”
Rep. Harper tried to silence the speech, and Rush continued speaking before being led off the House floor. Trayvon Martin’s parents are in Washington today, commended Rep. Rush for speaking on behalf of Trayvon Martin.
“I’d like to commend Congressman Rush for pleading our case,” Tracy Martin said to the Washington Post. “Why wasn’t Congressman Rush allowed to address racial profiling? This is something that needs to be talked about; this is a country of freedom of speech.”
Rush addressed the media, telling CNN that the family of Trayvon Martin are supported despite the tragic loss. “[The family] gained a whole generation of children who are now protesting in the streets, walking in the schools. They’re doing what they need to do to make their voices heard, because they do not want to be the next Trayvon Martin.”
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