Oklahoma residents may soon be fined $500 for wearing a hoodie in public. Lawmakers are expected to vote on a bill next month that would mandate a fine for anyone wearing a hoodie in an attempt to conceal their face.
The proposal is not entirely new: a state law dating back to the 1920s currently bans the use of masks, hoods or other coverings concealing the identity during the commission of a crime.
This law was initially created to discourage the Klu Klux Klan from activity in Oklahoma. However, its modern equivalent will ban the hoodie in all public places at all times.
“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,” said Senator Don Barrington, author of the proposed amendment.
Jazz Shaw at Hot Air accurately noted that a quick politically-focused Google search of the word “hoodie” will turn up countless of references to Trayvon Martin.
Besides being a preposterous idea — a hoodie barely conceals the face — the proposed amendment will only aggravate tensions already stewing across the nation. It may even inflame rabble-rousers already on edge and fuel community violence.
Instead of banning a common closet item, Oklahoma should enact real legislation to improve public safety for all of its citizens.