The rest of the Western world was not immune from the spike in adolescent crime, the political posturing, the public outcry, and the shifts in penal ideology that impacted the United States during the late 1980s and 1990s. Yet no other country in the Western world turned so abruptly and completely on its population of adolescent lawbreakers. Plainly, there are important historical, sociological, political, and demographic differences between the United States and other Western nations that influence the relative severity of their juvenile justice policies, but this Article argues that there is also something about the social psychology of these metaphorical, social wars in which our country has been so continually and readily involved. In the case of the super-predator war, these cognitive processes and reverberations have so indelibly altered the meaning of young black male within our society that we are immune to the notion that we are systematically destroying a significant portion of our country's future.
. Associate Professor, University of Minnesota Law School.