Sometimes you just have to shake your head and wonder how an otherwise sensible group of people manage to paint themselves into a corner. That seems to be the case in Oklahoma at the moment, where there is a proposal on the table to ban the hoodie.
The cold Oklahoma weather has many sporting hoodies outside to help fight the cold, but wearing a hood in a public place could soon be against the law.
The idea of banning hoods is not new to Oklahoma, right now, there is a law banning hoods during crimes that’s been around since the 20’s.
It was originally drafted to help combat crimes from the Klu-Klux-Klan, but people we spoke with say a new amendment of banning hoodies in public could open doors to a bigger problem.
They’re talking about a $500.00 fine for wearing a hoodie in public. Rachel Alexander at Right Wing News sees problems coming.
Not everyone is happy, including guys with bald heads who just want to stay warm outside during winter. Additionally, the proposed law has put civil liberties advocates at odds with law and order proponents, reviving the long-running debate over whether the “Broken Windows” method of policing is effective and worth the risk of trampling on constitutional rights. No doubt if the legislation passes, there will be lawsuits filed.
Everyone is going to want to make this out to be racial issue, natch, but that’s more than a little crazy. Sure, you can’t do a politically oriented Google search of the word hoodie without turning up Trayvon Martin, but the guy didn’t invent them and the the black community doesn’t hold any exclusive rights to them. Hell… I have a hoodie and wore it this morning shoveling snow. And those of you who have seen pictures or video of me can probably tell that I’m not exactly what you’d call the poster boy for gangster chic.
Every mention of this law seems to reference an ancient Oklahoma statute against hoods. That’s a case of apples and oranges. Passing a law to stop the KKK from putting pillow cases over their heads – which is, in itself, slightly problematic constitutionally – is a far cry from having an open front hood attached to a zip up sweater. You put a bag over your head to intentionally disguise your identity while committing a crime. You pull up your hood to keep your ears warm and keep the rain off your head. If they are structuring the law to say that it’s illegal to wear a hoodie during the commission of a crime they might have a pathway to get it through, but it would still be rather pointless when you could just rely on a law making it illegal to “disguise your appearance” during a crime.
I suppose there is some limited ability to hide your identify from certain angles using a hoodie if you really wanted to, but it’s not a very effective mask. This law is preposterous and somebody needs to step back for a quick reality check.