Barney Frank's 'Trayvon' Graduation Quip Falls Flat

By Forward Staff

Published May 29, 2012.
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Congressman Barney Frank’s joke about a hoodie and a black recipient of an honorary degree fell flat at a college graduation.

The crowd gasped as retiring Jewish congressman made the crack at the University of Massachusetts graduation, which honored civil rights leader Hubie Jones, the Daily News reported.

“When you get an honorary degree they give these,” the Massachusetts Democrat said Sunday, tugging at the hood on his commencement gown, the paper said. “And Hubie, I think you now got a hoodie you can wear and no one will shoot at you.”

The quip was a reference to the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla. One of the reasons Martin’s alleged killer, George Zimmerman, thought the teen was up to no good because he was wearing a hoodie.

Frank later insisted he didn’t mean to offend anyone.


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