On Wednesday in U.S. House of Representatives, Illinois Rep. Bobby Rush was ordered to leave after violating a House rule against wearing hats, according to Yahoo! News. Rush had removed his jacket while speaking on the floor to reveal a hooded sweatshirt. Rush said, "Racial profiling has to stop. Just because someone wears a hoodie, [it] does not make them a hoodlum."
Rush has a history of activism in Chicago, as well as a reputation for controversy and trouble. Here is a quick glance:
* 1969: After co-founding the Illinois Black Panther Party, according to the National Journal, he served six months in prison for a firearm violation after the Chicago police raided his home. Conversely, during his tenure with the Black Panthers, he also started a breakfast program for children in Chicago and established a medical clinic responsible for the country's first mass-scale testing for sickle cell-anemia. Rush was also close friends with another Panther, Fred Hampton.
* 1999: Rush is challenged by Barack Obama for his senate seat, the only election that Obama has lost to date. Rush had harsh words for Obama, stating, "Barack is a person who read about the civil rights protests and thinks he knows all about it. I helped make that history, by blood, sweat, and tears," according to the Chicago Reader. Rush would later back Hillary Clinton over Obama in the 2008 presidential election.
* 2004: Rush is arrested in front of the Sudanese Embassy while protesting the genocide in Darfur. Rush wrote about the situation in the Sudan, according to Rep. Jan Schakowsky: "Darfur needs a savior. It needs a force that will reveal itself in the form of humanitarian aid."
* 2008: He pushed for placement of Roland Burris in Obama's vacant senate seat, even though he was appointed by the embattled ex-governor, Rod Blagojevich. Rush caused some controversy when he told the press, "I would ask you not to hang or lynch the appointee as you try to castigate the appointor." Many, including Rep. Schakowsky, accused Rush of adding a racial tone to the matter, said Politico.
* 2011: Bobby Rush is singled out along with 32 other members of Congress for sleeping in his Washington D.C. office. A watchdog group accused the politicians of misusing government resources, violating tax laws, and breaking House rules, according to the Daily Herald. Three other Illinois politicians were also named as offenders, including two Chicago Democrats.
- Bobby Rush
- Barack Obama