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Oklahoma pastors will preach in hoodies to protest proposed state bill banning hoods

A poster showing Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old African American from Miami Gardens, Fla., who was fatally shot in 2012. He was wearing a hoodie.
A poster showing Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old African American from Miami Gardens, Fla., who was fatally shot in 2012. He was wearing a hoodie.
A poster showing Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old African American from Miami Gardens, Fla., who was fatally shot in 2012. He was wearing a hoodie.

courtesy Shutterstock

A poster showing Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old African American from Miami Gardens, Fla., who was fatally shot in 2012. He was wearing a hoodie. This photo is not available for reproduction.

OKLAHOMA CITY (RNS) On the eve of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, many Oklahoma pastors will preach not in robes, but hooded sweatshirts, or hoodies, to protest a proposed state bill that would ban a mask, hood, or covering of the face in public under certain conditions.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson, a Disciples of Christ minister in Oklahoma City not related to the civil rights activist, started the initiative because he believes the bill is designed as an attack on dissent.

“The bill as written takes direct aim at the Guy Fawkes masks that were used as part of the Occupy movement, and it takes aim at hoodies, which became powerful symbols after the death of Trayvon Martin and as part of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement,” Jackson said.

State Sen. Don Barrington, a Republican, denied that hoodies are the targets of the proposed legislation, which is still in committee.

But the Rev. Chris Moore of Fellowship Congregational Church, a United Church of Christ congregation in Tulsa, Okla., said he was concerned about the bill’s ramifications.

The bill declares an emergency situation, which means that if the legislation passes, it would go into immediate effect.

“What is the crisis?” asked Moore, who planned to wear a hoodie on Sunday (Jan. 18). “We do not have people roaming the streets in hoodies or masks committing crimes. We do, however, have a $300 million budget shortfall.”

Moore mentioned the death of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed Florida teen killed by George Zimmerman. Martin was wearing a hoodie when he was shot.

“I don’t know if the senator is unaware of the context,” Moore said, “but I’m more concerned that he is not ignorant of it and wrote the bill anyway.”

An accurate count of the number of pastors who planned to don sweatshirts was not available. Jackson said he has heard from colleagues, including people out of state, and the response has been heartening.

“I don’t know how many pastors will be in hoodies,” he said, “but I know some will, and I know many of their parishioners will be, too.”

YS/AMB END HORTON

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Greg Horton

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  • In addition to being a solemnly vowed religious, I am also a veteran of the U.S. Army Nurse Corps. I swore to uphold the Constitution of the United States, “…against all enemies, foreign and domestic…”
    This country does not tolerate any type of bigotry. To forbid wearing certain types of clothing is what a DICTATOR does! I’m glad that the pastors are standing up for freedom.

  • Foolishness is standing by like this doesn’t matter. Today your right to wear what you want to wear and tomorrow it may be your freedom of speech. Who cares who will wear them in protest, what should concern us more is the ones who won’t ! Folks we still live in a free country..this is a democracy and it is time that we remind the government of that fact.

    http://teespring.com/WEAREAFREECOUNTRY

  • There’s always sonmething to protest about man’s governments, including his systems of injustice, these days.a

    But this will not always be the case especially when God’s rule over mankind on earth will soon become the only government; and his son, Jesus, will rule as its King (Isaiah 11:1-9) Nothing to protest about then!

  • I never get involved in politics and/or wars and/or protests. Protests can’t change people; people have to change themselves individually for the better to make any difference.

    My vote still goes to God’s kingdom and/or heavenly government as the best government for us humans.

  • I understand that the kingdom is not long and will usher in uniformity and order under the strong, controlling hand of your god, but are you going to do anything to help people today? Words are only so much comfort in a time where action is needed.

  • Could we have some actual reporting by Religion News Service? The text of the bill his here:

    https://legiscan.com/OK/text/SB13/2015

    It’s a trivial piece of legislation and could have some unforeseen downstream applications. It’s intent is not to prohibit the wearing of sweatshirts, but to prohibit identity concealment in public places, bar in specified circumstances.

    ==

    Moore mentioned the death of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed Florida teen killed by George Zimmerman. Martin was wearing a hoodie when he was shot.

    He had two arms, which he was using to practice his MMA moves and bang George Zimmerman’s head into the concrete. I take it you people got your story and you’re stickin’ to it.

    ==

    and it takes aim at hoodies, which became powerful symbols after the death of Trayvon Martin and as part of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement,” Jackson said

    Not a ‘powerful’ ‘symbol’, but a signifier of the willingness of fools and frauds to invest their efforts in POS causes. Trayvon Martin is best described as a disagreeable n’er do well adolescent who elected to beat up a local resident for reasons unfathomable to anyone not a petty hoodlum. Unluckily, the man had a pistol. Unfortunate, but of very little broader significance.

  • GOOD! Black people in AmeriKKKa are sick of being criminalized for no other reason but being Black in AmeriKKKa! Just because the hoode sweatshirt is one of the few garments Black men and boys can afford, and, thus, wear often, is no reason to criminalize anyone wearing that garment. When is AmeriKKKa going to criminalize gray flannel suits and expensive ties?!!! After all, some of the most notoriously corrupt and most egregious criminals wear suits, not hoodies!

  • You can’t be serious right? A non hooded sweatshirt costs the same amount. Dress like a thug, act like a thug and don’t be surprised when you are treated like a thug.

    Mlk would be embarrassed at how his cause has been usurped by those refusing to take personal responsibilty for their own lives and their own communities. Shameful indeed.

  • Mlk would be embarrassed at how his cause has been usurped by those refusing to take personal responsibilty for their own lives and their own communities. Shameful indeed.

    He might have been. I’m not sure we’d know about it. Other than Bayard Rustin, I do not think there were any figures within the black political establishment who dissented from signature features of the post 1965 program – i.e. the extension of political patronage into every nook and cranny of the labor market and the educational system and the indifference to law enforcement. From 1965 until his death, Rustin worked on the staff of the AFL-CIO and was a person of scant influence. Coretta King was and her daughter Bernice has been at odds with the portside consensus on some issues, but I do not recall they challenged it on these issues.

  • Memo to “hoodie” pastors:

    Instead of obsessing over trivia and civil rights issues like it’s 1965, how about doing something useful for a change like fighting poverty and pathology or starting a drug-rehab or anti-drop-out program for kids?

    Nah, that would take real work….Preaching against hoodies takes zero work at all…..and you can get all the guilt-ridden white libs to fill your coffers with good cold cash.

  • Hoodies are worn with company logos and approved for work for workers in cold areas by very well known companies. Hoodies are sold nationally with organization logos including those of schools.
    If a police officer asks persons to show their face and prifile by putting down the hood or masks that is sufficient.

  • Hoodie fashion shows nightly in Baltimore. We should not be encouraging our youth to wear thug and gang attire.

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