Oklahoma has declared war on hoodies…
12:27 PM EST on January 5, 2015
First of all, I guess welcome back to the grind. I hope 2014 was a success and 2015 treats you well.
I took the past two weeks off to enjoy the holidays, get some shit done and finish up a few site related projects. I'd like to report that I accomplished absolutely none of those goals. I did about as well at "getting shit done" as our local meteorologists did at predicting the "New Year's Day ice storm." Seriously, I think I just completed the most unfulfilling two-week staycation of all time. My most productive moments were deleting old shows from the DVR and upgrading my town hall in Clash of Clans. Now I have something called an X-bow.
Although most of us mentally checked out for the holidays, Oklahoma lawmakers proved there is no true break in politics and continued doing their fine job of embarrassing us on the national stage.
In case you missed it, KFOR reported on January 2nd that Senator Don Barrington from Lawton has introduced legislation that will make it illegal to wear a hoodie, because as we all know, everyone wearing a hoodie secretly wants to rob a liquor store and shoot you.
Thanks to the idiocy of the law and a slow news week, the facepalm was covered by just about every obscure social blog and / or large national news website out there. Let's see what Yahoo! News, who even put the story on their front page, had to say:
The act of wearing a hoodie in public could soon be illegal in Oklahoma under a bill proposed by Don Barrington, a Republican state senator.
The bill, an amendment to existing law, would make it illegal for people to “intentionally conceal” their identities “in a public place by means of a robe, mask, or other disguise,”reports Oklahoma City NBC affiliate KFOR-TV.
Violators of the existing law (and the proposed amendment) face misdemeanor charges. If found guilty, they face fines of up to $500 and up to a year in prison.
The problem is that the immediately preceding paragraph in the existing law, titled 21 OS 1301, makes it illegal for anyone “to wear a mask, hood or covering, which conceals the identity of the wearer during the commission of a crime” or for “coercion, intimidation or harassment.”
Civil rights advocates worry that the two clauses read together could give police the authority to arrest someone for wearing a simple hooded sweatshirt.
“If somebody is out running, especially in this kind of weather, where it’s cold, drizzly, you might be inclined to wear your hoodie at Lake Hefner,” local attorney James Siderias told KFOR.
I don't know about you, but doesn't this sound a bit like Dog Whistle Racism? In all honesty, I'm not smart enough to really know what that means, but it's how a high-level Ogle Mole described the bill and it sounds pretty good to me so I'm going to go with it. I guess since people wearing hoodies can't hear dog whistles, that, uhm, it unfairly targets them? Hell, I don't know. My mind is still waking up.
Let's just read what the bill's author, Don Barrington, has to say about the law:
“The intent of Senate Bill 13 is to make businesses and public places safer by ensuring that people cannot conceal their identities for the purpose of crime or harassment,” he told the NBC station.
“Similar language has been in Oklahoma statutes for decades and numerous other states have similar laws in place,” Sen. Barrington proclaimed. “Oklahoma businesses want state leaders to be responsive to their safety concerns, and this is one way we can provide protection.”
Yeah, that's stupid. Banning hoodies in public because some idiots choose to wear them while committing robberies would be like making it a crime to grow facial hair since, as we know, most pedophiles have goatees. What's next? Banning sunglasses at night? Actually, I'd be for that one. How about making it illegal to carry a firearm into a business because most murders and armed robberies are committed by people carrying guns? Wait... nevermind.
If you're worried that you may have to ship your hoodie collection to friends and relatives in Texas, don't worry. There are a few loopholes:
The existing law includes a large number of exceptions for hood- and mask-wearers including “exhibitions of minstrel troupes,” attendees of “masquerade parties” and participants in “the pranks of children on Halloween.”
Barrington’s amendment would add new exceptions including immunity for religious adherents “wearing coverings required by” their beliefs and for people dealing with bad weather.
Well, I guess we can all expect memberships in local "minstrel troupes" to rise exponentially if this law passes.
"Sir, I see you're wearing a hoodie into Walgreens. I'm going to have to arrest you."
"Actually, I'm a member of the South Moore Minstrels."
"Oh... Well in that case, carry on. I apologize."
Actually, joining minstrel troupes or attending masquerade parties will be unnecessary if this bill becomes a law. That's because some genius named Eric Ellenwood has created a religion called the Oklahoma Order of the Hoodie. It already has 1,648 members on Facebook:
Even though I doubt this law will pass, to be safe, I'd suggest you go ahead and join this group and start praying to the hoodie gods. While you're at it, call or email your legislator and let them know that not everyone who wears a hoodie is a bad person who's hell bent on robbing a store with an X-bow. Most of them are just lazy people who accomplish nothing on staycations and play stupid games on their phone.
Thanks for reading!
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