The National Need For Economic Security (...in order to form a more perfect union)
October 10, 2015 -- This week, historically disadvantaged Americans mark the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March. Inspired by Minister Louis Farrakhan, a leading group of civil rights activists and the Nation of Islam, working in conjunction with scores of civil rights organizations, including many local chapters of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People formed the Million Man March Organizing Committee.
On October 16, 1995, the Million Man March event welcomed participants from across the United States to the National Mall in Washington, D.C. March organizers believed that politicians were failing the black community by “papering over the most vital dimensions of the crisis in international capitalism” and blaming urban blacks for “domestic economic woes that threatened to produce record deficits, massive unemployment, and uncontrolled inflation.”
At the time of the march, African Americans faced unemployment rates nearly twice that of white Americans, a poverty rate of more than 40%, and a median family income that was about 58% of the median for white households. More than 11% of all black males were unemployed and for those aged 16 to 19, the number of unemployed had climbed to over 50%.
Further, according to Reverend Jesse Jackson’s speech at the March, the United States House of Representatives had reduced funding to some of the programs that played an integral role in urban Americans’ lives. “The House of Representatives cut $1.1 billion from the nation’s poorest public schools,” and “cut $137 million from Head Start” effectively subtracting $5,000 from each classroom’s budget and cutting 45,000 preschoolers from a crucial early education program.
In the 20 years since the historic demonstration, America has consistently fallen short of its own constitutional vision for “a more perfect union.” A brutal wake-up call on Sept. 11, 2001, quickly matured into a vast Federal bureaucracy for the protection of the Nation. Public law 107-56 defines critical infrastructure as systems and assets, whether physical or virtual, so vital to the United States that “their incapacity or destruction would have a debilitating impact on security, national economic security, national public health or safety, or any combination of those matters.”
From a Million Man March perspective, such a threat exists. It is evidenced by the reality of a Cradle to Prison Pipeline, a Digital Divide, and Economic Exclusion. From a legal context, such realities reflect crimes punishable under Title IX of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970. The “Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act” or RICO Act offers existing provisions for the recovery of stolen assets.
America’s critical infrastructures are the foundation for the nation’s economic and social vitality, national security, and way of life. They frame citizens’ daily lives and support one of the world’s highest living standards. The nation’s basic, critical infrastructures must be as robust as possible. Regardless of circumstances, these systems must continue to support the health and well-being of the general population while also enabling basic functionality.
The rollout of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security responded in part to international terrorist threats while perpetuating a culture of fear and intimidation on some historically disadvantaged Americans. One in a million Black men has assessed this threat as a “gulf of mistrust” between some citizens empowered to enforce homeland security and citizens valued as “minorities” or less than equal.
As President of the United States of America, the Honorable Barack H. Obama can immediately respond to economic security concerns of a million Black men by commissioning an alternative vision of America’s future. Among the numerous resources available to the President is the National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center. NISAC was created under a program of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection Directorate. NISAC is a modeling, simulation, and analysis program within DHS comprising program management and outreach personnel in Washington, D.C., and technical staff from Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and Sandia National Laboratories (SNL).
NISAC personnel have examined many sub-systems of the national infrastructure, including energy, water, telecommunications, transportation, and public health. NISAC looks at the interdependencies between these systems to understand how failures in one could disrupt others. But no NISAC discipline addresses constitutionally sanctioned human rights violations to free Africans in the United States. Up to now, NISAC has produced no evidence of an inclusive economic security simulation.
A NISAC simulation based on historical attitudes and behavior concerning “minorities” might establish datasets to address historic disparities.
The Critical Infrastructures Protection Act of 2001 declares it is U.S. policy:
(1) that any physical or virtual disruption of the operation of the critical infrastructures of the United States be rare, brief, geographically limited in effect, manageable, and minimally detrimental to the economy, human and government services, and U.S. national security;
(2) that actions necessary to achieve this policy be carried out in a public-private partnership involving corporate and non-governmental organizations; and
(3) to have in place a comprehensive and effective program to ensure the continuity of essential Federal Government functions under all circumstances.