Feb 28, 2016 1:38 AM GMT
A professor of politics and public affairs on the political science faculty at Princeton University, John DiIulio, created and popularized the superpredator concept. He coined the term superpredator (1995b) to call public attention to what he characterized as a “new breed” of offenders, “kids that have absolutely no respect for human life and no sense of the future. . . . These are stone-cold predators!” (p. 23). Elsewhere, DiIulio and co-authors have described these young people as “fatherless, Godless, and jobless” and as “radically impulsive, brutally remorseless youngsters, including ever more teenage boys, who murder, assault, rob, burglarize, deal deadly drugs, join gun-toting gangs, and create serious [linked] disorders” (Bennett, DiIulio, & Walters, 1996, p. 27)...
DiIulio (1996b) warned that juvenile superpredators would be “flooding the nation’s streets,” coming “at us in waves over the next 20 years. . . . Time is running out” (p. 25). He also used inflammatory language, warning, “We must therefore be prepared to contain the [‘crime bomb’] explosion’s force and limit its damage” (DiIulio, 1995a, p. 15). However, he expressed hopelessness, saying, “This crime bomb probably cannot be defused,” and asserting that the superpredators would be here within 5 years (i.e., by the year 2000) (p. 15). They never arrived.
So, essentially that was the tenor of the times in which Clinton had given that speech.
same source continued:
Where Did the Superpredators Go?
The short answer is that the large cadre of superpredators that DiIulio described never existed
But by then the damage had been done, a myth had taken hold. And this speech Clinton gave where she used the term, if I understand it right, was in support a violent crime control act passing with the support of Bernie (though he did warn that neglect of government was in part to blame for the plight of youth) plus 46 Republicans also supporting the passing of the measure.
She's already said she should not have used that term back in the 1990s and that she would not use the reference these 20something years later.