Rush also tamped down any suggestion he was singled out for his impassioned protest and said he knew the breach of decorum would not be taken lightly.
“I didn’t know if I was going to be handcuffed or dragged out or led out,” Rush said. “All I knew is that I was going to get a reaction.”
Nevertheless, the former activist from the South Side of Chicago said he was compelled to act because he has a special connection to this issue. His son, Huey, was shot and killed in a Chicago sidewalk robbery in 1999, he told CNN.
The CBC considered dressing in hoodies last week in a floor demonstration, but ended up nixing the idea. Rush, however, was spurred into the move after an encounter with Martin’s parents at a House Judiciary Committee briefing on Tuesday.
“I told them that they lost a son, but they’ve gained a whole generation of children,” Rush said.
Though Rush’s hoodie may be the most overt protest against what many see as an injustice, Members are also promising legislative remedies and have kept heat on the Department of Justice and Florida authorities to act.
Wilson said she will soon offer the “Trayvon Martin Resolution,” stating that Members stand with the family in asking for justice for the boy.
She said she also wants to address racial profiling by creating a “Commission on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys.”
“It’s an issue that has to be addressed. It’s demeaning,” she said. “When a black boy is walking down the street, people cross the street. When they walk up to their car, everybody locks the door. They fear them.”
Fellow Florida Democratic Rep. Corrine Brown said she wants to focus on Zimmerman’s self-appointed neighborhood watch status, a position for which she said he had no training. If he had, she said, this situation could have been avoided.
“It’s disturbing,” she said. “I am definitely looking very closely at what we can do to have some form of training for community watch.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., carries a musket on stage as he speaks during the American Conservative Union's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Md., on Thursday March 6, 2014.