After being cut off on House floor for defiantly wearing a hooded sweatshirt, Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) appeared on CNN to discuss how the shooting of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin hit close to home.
“Trayvon Martin lies dead, partially because he was a black man wearing a hoodie in a white neighborhood,” the former Black Panther turned ardent opponent of urban gun culture said.
“The assailant has not been charged, something’s wrong with that,” Rush continued. “The police let him go scot-free, something’s wrong with that. And this is just a mirror, example, indication, protest about the failure of the judicial system as it relates to African American males and the clothing that they wear. Their life is much more than a piece of clothing and we can’t lay back, lie down and accept murder because someone wears a hood.”
Rush’s own son was shot and killed by two men on Chicago’s South Side in 1999.
“I’m not excusing those who are criminals, those who are real hoodlums,” Rush said. “But just because you wear a hood, a hoodie, doesn’t make you a hoodlum.”
Rush defeated President Barack Obama in a primary election in 2000, making him the only person to have defeated Obama in a public election.
Watch video, courtesy of CNN, below: