In Oklahoma, hoods worn while engaged in a crime has been a crime (in addition to the crime in question) since the 1920s. The original intent of that law was to reduce crimes by the Ku Klux Klan. Now the Sooner State might try to ledger fines for any public wearing of a hooded sweatshirt.
A new proposal to amend the 1920s law includes language that could ban any individual "from intentionally concealing his or her identity in a public space." Wearing anything that fits that loose description could become a crime, punishable by a fine up to $500. According to a local news affiliate, Oklahomans are concerned that this is a "hoodie ban."
The bill includes exemptions for religious garments, weather protection, safety or medical purposes, parades, Halloween celebrations, masquerade parties, "minstrel troupes," circuses, sporting groups, mascots or "other amusements or dramatic shows." But attorneys and residents in Oklahoma told local news affiliate, KFOR that they're worried that this could be applied to the hooded sweatshirt.
“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….Similar language has been in Oklahoma statutes for decades and numerous other states have similar laws in place. Oklahoma businesses want state leaders to be responsive to their safety concerns, and this is one way we can provide protection.” – said Sen. Don Barrington of Lawton. [via KFOR]
Residents in Oklahoma City told KFOR there are many practical reasons to wear a hoodie: a bad hair day, being stricken with cancer, jogging in the rain, and the fact that the hero of the local sports team, Kevin Durant, wears them within their Oklahoma borders. Complex Style recently offered 10 additional reasons why the hoodie is the greatest piece of clothing of ALL TIME.
Local attorney James Siderias reassured viewers, “I think the legislature is just trying to make Oklahoma a little bit safer, and in doing so, I think they just over-reached a little bit."
Speaking of Sooner overreaching, Colorado also thinks that Oklahoma's been over-reaching a little lately when they filed a lawsuit against the Centennial State for legalizing marijuana. Both that lawsuit and this garment proposal are awaiting further approval or dismissal. Check for news updates before taking a rust belt road trip.
[via The Huffington Post]