FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 8, 2021
Acclaimed Talk Show Host and Human Rights Activist, Joe Madison,
“Starving for Voting Rights”
Washington, DC – Hunger strikes have been used as means of political protests as long as there have been politics and resistance. Throughout history, suffragettes in the UK and US have used hunger strikes as a means of protest. So, it is not surprising that one of the country’s leading voices for human and civil rights has chosen this form of dissent to redress a wrong.
Joe Madison, also known as the Black Eagle, today announced on his radio show, “as a political protest, I am beginning a hunger strike today by abstaining from eating until Congress passes, and President Biden signs, the Freedom to Vote Act or the J.L. Voting Rights Advancement Act.”
Both bills were recently passed by the House of Representatives and both have stalled in the Senate. Neither bill has garnered the requisite 60-vote majority, and have been unable to circumvent the required majority due to the Senate filibuster rule.
Madison is not your typical talk show host. His popular radio show on SiriusXM reaches over three million listeners each day. To some, Madison is “action-oriented” personified. His signature expression “what are you going to do about it,” is not just a slogan, it’s what inspires and drives him.
According to Madison, “I have begun this hunger strike in solidarity with all those who are calling on Congress and the President to protect our voting rights.”
Since the Supreme Court’s decision, Shelby County v. Holder, watered down the Voting Rights Act of 1965, statehouses across the country have passed a myriad of laws that have made it more difficult for people to vote. This series of events has impelled Madison to capture the moment and turn it into a movement.
According to Madison, “the difference between a moment and movement is sacrifice, and although this is a moral as well as a political cause for me, it is a component of a much larger movement. “
When asked “why a hunger strike?” Madison responds, “just as food is necessary to sustain life, the right to vote is necessary to sustain democracy.”
Joe Madison Hunger Strike
Don Lemon Show
Rachel Maddow Show
Joy Reid Show
Al Sharpton Show
Andrew Cuomo Show
Charles Blow Show
Egberto Willies Show
Thom Hartman Show
December 8th 2021
Today, Joe Madison made a statement recommitting to his hunger strike and calling for Senate leadership to set a deadline on action. Please read the statement below. Click here for the link to his live announcement (audio is attached) and please share:
HUNGER STRIKE CONTINUES
Joe Madison “The Black Eagle” calls on Democrats to set a deadline on voting rights action in Congress
Today is the 31st day of my hunger strike for voting rights. I have experienced several physical changes as part of this action, not least of which is that I have lost 23 pounds in the last month. But I have vowed to abstain from solid food until the Senate reforms the filibuster or passes the Freedom to Vote Act or the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. This morning, I am recommitting to my effort.
Additionally, today I am calling on the leaders in Congress to describe their strategy for passing these bills. We know that the Senate can carve out the filibuster rule, which they just did for the debt limit. The right to vote is a non-partisan issue, and our democracy can’t wait. The United States Senate must pass these bills before the end of the year so they can take effect before the midterms in 2022.
Senators can consider this a Christmas present to the American people. And President Biden can sign the bill into law on Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday.
Since the 2020 election, state legislatures across the country introduced at least 425 bills that would restrict voting rights. And dozens of these bills became law. Our people sacrificed much more than I have to gain our right to vote. We need to come together and take action now to protect that right before it is taken away.
The Senate has to act, and we all must come together to demand that action.
Just as food is essential to sustain life, the right to vote is necessary to sustain democracy.
Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman