Hillary Clinton

Friday A/V Club: Hillary vs. Superpredator

The 1990s saw a wave of weird warnings about a coming crime surge to be led by inhuman "superpredators." Guess who joined in?

|

"It's gonna be a great movie. We had Trump design the alien and we had Clinton design the predator."
20th Century Fox

It has been 20 years this month since the neoconservative academic John J. DiIulio Jr. warned Weekly Standard readers that "the demographic bulge of the next 10 years will unleash an army of young male predatory street criminals who will make even the leaders of the Bloods and Crips…look tame by comparison." These "superpredators," as DiIulio called them, included more than teenagers. "We're talking about boys whose voices have yet to change," he wrote. "We're talking about elementary school youngsters who pack guns instead of lunches. We're talking about kids who have absolutely no respect for human life and no sense of the future. In short, we're talking big trouble that hasn't yet begun to crest."

These monsters weren't entirely inhuman. "Under some conditions," DiIulio allowed, "they are affectionate and loyal to fellow gang members or relatives." Though "not even moms or grandmoms are sacred to them."

All this fear-mongering would eventually be debunked. Over the next two decades juvenile crime, like crime in general, would sharply fall instead of surging. DiIulio himself eventually recanted the superpredator theory. But not before it was adopted by a number of prominent and powerful Americans, such as this woman:

Yep: That's possible-future-president Hillary Clinton, speaking in New Hampshire in 1996. The then–first lady was campaigning for her husband's reelection, touting the alleged benefits of the crime bill he had signed two years earlier and calling for further action against the gang menace. If you weren't able to watch the clip above, here's what she said in it:

They are not just gangs of kids anymore. They are often the kinds of kids that are called superpredators. No conscience. No empathy. We can talk about why they ended up that way, but first we have to bring them to heel.

She might as well have been promising to shoot zombies. But this is the sort of rhetoric that was deployed to build up the carceral state in the 1990s.

These days Clinton is more likely to endorse criminal justice reform, though not of a particularly far-reaching sort. (She's more likely to call for a kinder, gentler drug war than to question the drug war itself.) But whatever policies she might enact as president, it'll be a long time before she's done as much to roll back mass incarceration as she did to install it.

Bonus links: To see the rest of Clinton's 1996 speech, go here. For past editions of the Friday A/V Club, go here.

(Clinton clip via Adam Johnson.)

Advertisement

NEXT: Paternalistic Condoms-in-Porn Rules Will See California Statewide Vote

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I don’t remember her looking that doable back then. If only she didn’t speak.

  2. Heel! Bet that’s something Bill got tired of.

  3. Speaking of Hillary, here’s a question:

    Why doesn’t Congress and/or the FBI just issue subpoenas to everyone who Hillary sent email to, and make them cough it all up?

    That’s the trick with e-mail – there’s never only one place to get a copy of it. There’s always a pitcher and at least one catcher.

    1. Because there is no political will to prosecute Hillary Clinton for anything she has ever done.

    2. Is the some indication that those people did something wrong?

      1. Maybe not, but they have evidence relevant to a criminal investigation. Its utterly routine to collect evidence from people who aren’t suspects, you know.

    3. Why doesn’t Congress and/or the FBI just issue subpoenas to everyone who Hillary sent email to, and make them cough it all up?

      How would this work? Where would you get the list of who to send the subpoenas to? If you know who she sent emails to, because she has a copy on her harddrive, why would you need to subpoena them?

      Wouldn’t a better route be to subpoena the IT folks since they set up and ran the email servers?

      1. Where would you get the list of who to send the subpoenas to?

        They’ve got a running start based on the emails they do have.

        No reason you can’t subpoena the IT folks, too.

        The game is to start rolling up the small fry, so they turn over on the big fish.

        1. Where would you get the list of who to send the subpoenas to?

          They’ve got a running start based on the emails they do have.

          No reason you can’t subpoena the IT folks, too.

          The game is to start rolling up the small fry, so they turn over on the big fish.

          You know, if the people she was sending emails to were feds, you wouldn’t even need a subpoena as the hardware is government owned. Just walk in and ask for the emails.

    4. Well, first you have to get Hillary’s e-mail to find out who all she sent e-mail to before you can subpoena everybody she sent e-mail to. It’s not like there’s some big national security agency keeping track of every e-mail or phone call made to or from the United States that you could check with and just get the records from.

  4. but first we have to bring them to heel.

    I wonder how many Clinton sentences this clause wouldn’t work in.

  5. The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970’s and 1980’s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. The living will envy the dead as they fall victim to the hordes of starving superpredators, driven mad by the vodka-and-flakka soaked tampons shoved up their asses, feasting upon their faces. Our only hope is that the superpredators will fall victim to the cold, as the continued rapid cooling of the earth since WWII is in accord with the increase in global air pollution associated with industrialisation, mechanisation, urbanisation and exploding population

    In a related story, I happened across this interesting Michael Crichton lecture from 2003. There’s a whole list of scientific bullshit there. But if you call bullshit, you’re a science-bashing cretin to be mocked and scorned, perhaps even subjected to a DoJ prosecution under the RICO statutes.

  6. He says that he is a lifelong Democrat…

    That might be something he should reconsider. He might also want to take stock in his Scandinianess. The closer your ancestors lived to the arctic circle the more likely you are to be a chump. This a Jayman theory that I can only explain in its most rudimentary form. Human groups are not the same. A higher degree of cooperation is required for humans to survive in an icy cold environment that in a temperate one. Thousand of years of evolution have made the groups different. A Scandinavian, ignoring this, tends to project his evolutionary sensibilities on other groups.

    1. The closer your ancestors lived to the arctic circle the more likely you are to be a chump.

      OK.

      Can you define “chump?”

      1. Someone who is easy to get over on, a sucker.

        1. Someone who is easy to get over on, a sucker.

          Thanks, I can always count on H&R giving me a good laugh.

  7. No conscience. No empathy. We can talk about why they ended up that way, but first we have to bring them to heel.
    – Hillary

    That’s just boiler plate she tacks on whenever she’s talking about her enemies.

  8. From the linked article: I interviewed Abraham, just as I have interviewed other justice-system officials and prison inmates, as a reality check on the incredibly frightening picture that emerges from recent academic research on youth crime and violence. All of the research indicates that Americans are sitting atop a demographic crime bomb.

    He ‘reality-checked’ this idea and found that ‘all of the research’ indicated the problem was big and bad and ‘incredibly frightening’. And yet….

    So what happened? Was Dilulio wrong about what the research showed or that it was “all” of the research rather than just some of the research? Or was the research itself wrong? And were either Dilulio or the research wrong because they were simply mistaken or because they were shoveling shit? And what reason do we have to believe that the next thing Dilulio or ‘the research’ comes up with isn’t just as wrong? Maybe we should be a little sceptical of claims that “all the research” shows something to be true?

  9. Back then it was superpredators.

    Now it is the campus rape epidemic and the knockout game epidemic.

  10. No conscience. No empathy. We can talk about why they ended up that way, but first we have to bring them to heel.

    Mrs. Clinton, can we perhaps first talk about how you ended up that way and hire we can bring you to heel?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.