WASHINGTON, DC – Following the shooting last month of an unarmed Brooklyn teen who was not wearing a fashionable hoodie sweatshirt at the time, Congress has passed a law that makes it mandatory for every man, woman, and child to keep their heads properly covered with a hood.
The Hoods in the Hood Act, which President Obama signed into law yesterday, makes it a criminal offense for any person to appear in public without wearing hooded apparel. Penalties range from a $500 fine to up to a year in jail, depending on how unhip the perpetrator is and whether he or she has a prior record of walking or driving while unhooded.
The new legislation was spurred by the nationwide outrage over the killing of 17-year-old Brandon Wilkes, who was gunned down in Flatbush by a neighborhood watch leader who claimed the young man looked "suspiciously uncool."
According to those who witnessed the shooting, the victim was tempting fate for acting so sartorially reckless. "Who walks around downtown Brooklyn with nothing on his head?" asked James Brodeur, a 28-year-old musician from Williamsburg, whose choice of headwear alternates between a vintage drawstring hoodie, porkpie hat, and baseball cap turned rakishly backwards. "I hate to say it, but the kid was just asking for it."
The man charged with shooting, 41-year-old Robert Tragar, defended his actions as self-defense, insisting he was just protecting his community. "If a person comes into this neighborhood without a hat, a hoodie, a bandana, or some kind of head accouterment, you just know they’re looking for trouble," said Tragar, a long-time hoodie enthusiast. "When you see someone like that posing a threat to style-conscious citizens, you just gotta stand your ground.”
A Hoodie Legacy
Not surprisingly, the hoodie law has sparked heated debate in Congress. "When I was a Black Panther back in 60s, we had to fight for our civil rights without the benefit of hoodies," said Hoods in the Hood's sponsor, Rep. Bobby Rush of Chicago, who was wearing a Nike high-performance Therma-FIT K.O. hoodie with reinforced seams. "Brave men and woman gave their lives so that we could wear hoodies, and we owe it their memory to carry on their legacy, fully hooded."
Opposing the legislation, Speaker of the House John Boehner addressed his fellow lawmakers yesterday: "No one in this country should have to fear for his life because they choose to remain hoodless," said Boehner, who made a bold political statement by appearing on the House floor without a hoodie.
"Government should get off our backs, and off our heads," Boehner added, promising to fight pro-hoodie advocates who vow to make required hoodie wearing a constitutional amendment.
While the entertainment world has embraced the hoodie movement, it hasn't been without backlash. After Spike Lee tweeted the addresses of non-hoodie-wearing grandmothers and demanded their immediate imprisonment, a group of headwear choice advocates demonstrated outside the filmmaker's Brooklyn home and called on him to "Do the right thing and shut the fuck up."
In related news, the Ku Klux Klan said it fully supports the wearing of hoods.