SiriusXM host Joe Madison is still on the hunger strike he started Nov. 8 to protest the lack of legislative action to pass the voting rights bill.
The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021 is proposed legislation that would restore and strengthen parts of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Portions of the landmark civil rights era legislation were reversed by two U.S. Supreme Court decisions — Shelby County v. Holder and Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee.
On Dec. 11 Madison tweeted a photo of his bare chest to mark Day 36 of his hunger strike. Madison appears thin in the photo.
“I’ve lost over 20 pounds on my #hungerstrike for voting rights. Starting today, I intend to take a photo every week while I continue to sacrifice my body for democracy,” Madison tweeted.
The radio personality previously told CNN that he wants lawmakers to put voting rights “on the front burner” after Thanksgiving recess. This didn’t happen. Senate Republicans have repeatedly blocked the legislation, and Democrats urged their party’s senators to get rid of the Senate filibuster rule requiring 60 votes to advance most legislation, CNN reported.
“As a political protest, I am beginning a hunger strike today by abstaining from eating any solid food until Congress passes, and President Biden signs the Freedom to Vote Act or the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act,” Madison said at the start of his strike.
The host of SiriusXM Urban View podcast “Joe Madison The Black Eagle,” Madison is a member of the National Radio Hall of Fame. He said he is on a hunger strike until President Joe Biden signs the bills and voting rights are passed in the Senate, EUR reported.
Both bills were passed by the House of Representatives but have stalled in the Senate.
Many on Twitter urged Madison to give up his hunger strike.
“Don’t let folks in DC kill you…. They are not worth it!” tweeted clinton williams @williams_ct.
Others thanked Madison for his actions. “Mr. Madison, no photo necessary, we will take your word. Thanks for all you have done and continue to do,” Robert Washington @RW_KOTB tweeted.
But some wondered why Madison hasn’t fought for reparations.
“Will you go on a hunger strike for Reparations for U.S. DESCENDANTS OF CHATTEL SLAVERY? asked miz justice @msjustice2.
The John Lewis Voting Rights Act, meant to fight voter suppression, was blocked in early November by Senate Republicans when the Senate took a procedural vote on whether to open debate on the legislation.
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