John Lauber, a soft-spoken new student one year behind Romney, was perpetually teased for his nonconformity and presumed homosexuality. Now he was walking around the all-boys school with bleached-blond hair that draped over one eye, and Romney wasn’t having it.
“He can’t look like that. That’s wrong. Just look at him!” an incensed Romney told Matthew Friedemann, his close friend in the Stevens Hall dorm, according to Friedemann’s recollection. Mitt, the teenaged son of Michigan Gov. George Romney, kept complaining about Lauber’s look, Friedemann recalled.
A few days later, Friedemann entered Stevens Hall off the school’s collegiate quad to find Romney marching out of his own room ahead of a prep school posse shouting about their plan to cut Lauber’s hair. Friedemann followed them to a nearby room where they came upon Lauber, tackled him and pinned him to the ground. As Lauber, his eyes filling with tears, screamed for help, Romney repeatedly clipped his hair with a pair of scissors.“I don’t remember that incident,” Romney said, laughing, after being asked about the report in the Washington Post. “I certainly don’t believe that I thought the fellow was homosexual."
I'm glad to hear that Mitt wasn't attacking the boy because he was presumed to be gay. It was only because of his hair! Sure, Mitt.
I don't like bullies. When I was in Junior High, I was bulled by a number of older children. Mitt's half-hearted apology that his prank went "too far" is not very satisfying.
A few days ago, I watched the documentary Bully, which follows a number of bullied children and the family of one child who committed suicide due to incessant bullying. What if Romney's prank caused Lauber to commit suicide? Why should there be any difference, from a moral perspective, if Romney's bullying did not result in Lauber killing himself? Romney's act was the same.
I'm not suggesting that Romney should be jailed for attempted murder. I'm simply stating that Romney should not laughingly dismiss this incident from his past, particularly in light of the many recent reports of children killing themselves due to bullying.