Reps. Steve King, R-Iowa and Bobby Rush, D-Ill., appeared on the Sean Hannity Show Thursday night to debate the Zimmerman verdict, where Rush was unable to defend remarks he’d made that Trayvon Martin was a victim of racial profiling.
Shortly after the shooting, Rush appeared on the House floor and removed his suit jacket to reveal a hoodie underneath. As he pulled the hood over his head, he proclaimed, “Just because someone wears a hoodie, does not make them a hoodlum.” Shortly afterwards he was escorted out of the chamber.
When the question of profiling was directed to Rush, the former Black Panther gave a rambling, sometimes incoherent reply, emphasizing that Martin wore a hoodie and had “a snack and a soft drink in his hands — and he’s dead,” according to the video.
When Hannity pointed out that an eyewitness testified that Martin was “pounding this guy’s head into the cement” of a “ while straddling Zimmerman, resulting in a broken nose and other head injuries, Rush said that “racial profiling exists in this nation, [and] that there are literally thousands of cases of racial profiling.”
He was unable to show evidence of profiling in this case, however.
The question of profiling was then directed at King.
“Well, I think there’s been a lot here that’s been ginned up here that’s been focused on race,” he replied. “And they held a faux hearing that focused on race back about a year ago, I’d guess, trying to gin up prosecution on this. I’d point out I know of no federal law against profiling. It needs to be a component of good police work.”
Moving to specifics, King continued, “The argument has been to constantly to try to find a little thread of whatever George Zimmerman said or thought in his life that could be used against him in this prosecution.
“You can’t be punishing someone for what goes on in his head. You can punish the overt act — you can’t punish the thought,” he said, adding that this was a local law enforcement issue, not something for congressional debate.
“Steve, Steve,” Rush interjected. “That is one of the problems — you cannot — alright, racial profiling is something that will not — and the evidence, have to be given kind of evidence.”
The interview continued in much the same vein, with King’s point’s interspersed by Rush’s incoherent sentences.
Watch the video from Fox News.