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Romney Terrorized Gay Student, Held Him Down, and Forcibly Cut His Hair

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Suprised this hasn't been posted yet. I wanted to wait for someone else so that I wouldn't be "the one" to bring it up. But it's national news now.

Mitt Romney’s prep school classmates recall pranks, but also troubling incidents - The Washington Post

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. — Mitt Romney returned from a three-week spring break in 1965 to resume his studies as a high school senior at the prestigious Cranbrook School. Back on the handsome campus, studded with Tudor brick buildings and manicured fields, he spotted something he thought did not belong at a school where the boys wore ties and carried briefcases. 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.

Friends say the fun, affable man they know hasn’t appeared on the campaign trail — perhaps because he’s trying too hard.

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.

The incident was recalled similarly by five students, who gave their accounts independently of one another. Four of them — Friedemann, now a dentist; Phillip Maxwell, a lawyer; Thomas Buford, a retired prosecutor; and David Seed, a retired principal — spoke on the record. Another former student who witnessed the incident asked not to be named. The men have differing political affiliations, although they mostly lean Democratic. Buford volunteered for Barack Obama’s campaign in 2008. Seed, a registered independent, has served as a Republican county chairman in Michigan. All of them said that politics in no way colored their recollections.

“It happened very quickly, and to this day it troubles me,” said Buford, the school’s wrestling champion, who said he joined Romney in restraining Lauber. Buford subsequently apologized to Lauber, who was “terrified,” he said. “What a senseless, stupid, idiotic thing to do.”

“It was a hack job,” recalled Maxwell, a childhood friend of Romney who was in the dorm room when the incident occurred. “It was vicious.”

“He was just easy pickins,” said Friedemann, then the student prefect, or student authority leader of Stevens Hall, expressing remorse about his failure to stop it.

The incident transpired in a flash, and Friedemann said Romney then led his cheering schoolmates back to his bay-windowed room in Stevens Hall.

Friedemann, guilt ridden, made a point of not talking about it with his friend and waited to see what form of discipline would befall Romney at the famously strict institution. Nothing happened.

Not that we should never forgive young, stupid teenagers for being young stupid teenagers -- but there's a difference between making a stupid mistake like drinking too much, etc. and going out and intentionally hurting someone physically and emotionally. A lot of Romney's actions make it seem like he has no empathy at all. This, the dog incident, his callous economic policies that hurt the poor, etc.

All in all, it happened a long time ago, so if he is sincere in his apologies, we could just move on. Except the victim of this bullying died in 2004, so he would never have gotten the benefit of the apology.

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People do dumb things when they are young. For me the bigger issue is that Romney claims not to remember. That would have left an impression on me as either the bullied or the bully. For Romney did it blend in with all the other assaults?

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He can’t look like that. That’s wrong. Just look at him!

This is not an excuse for bullying.

However, the sentiments expressed above were pretty common during the early sixties. The difference in social norms between 1960 and 1970 were monumental. I'm not a Romney fan, but you need to filter your dismay over his comments back then, if true, through the lens of the time. Outrage over bullying, fine.

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Mitt Romney apologizes for gay bullying incident he doesn't remember | News | National Post

So now, after saying he doesn't remember the incident, Romney has stated that he does remember that he didn't think the guy was a homosexual.

So, in the words of Mr. Etch-a-Sketch, he doesn't remember the incident...except for the part that he does.

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However, the sentiments expressed above were pretty common during the early sixties. The difference in social norms between 1960 and 1970 were monumental. I'm not a Romney fan, but you need to filter your dismay over his comments back then, if true, through the lens of the time. Outrage over bullying, fine.

That's a fair point to make. It was probably very easy, especially as an insecure teenager, to "go with the flow" back then -- when gay bullying was probably acceptable. However, this incident paints Romney as the chief aggressor, not just someone going along to get along. It also involves physical assault and battery -- not just words and "comments."

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Mitt Romney was a rich, arrogant, jerk as a kid? Stunning news, maybe next up we'll find out that Barack Obama liked to do drugs and hang out with insane political radicals. Well no, the wapo would probably deem that to be non relevant to the campaign.

More seriously, I'm stunned that this came out one day after Obama decided he does support gay marriage, and that they made the kid's "presumed homosexuality" to be the focal point of the story. Every kid that was ever bullied is gay - fact.

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maybe next up we'll find out that Barack Obama liked to do drugs and hang out with insane political radicals. Well no, the wapo would probably deem that to be non relevant to the campaign.

The media already did spend months and countless articles reporting on this. That's why everybody already knows about it. The public took a look at it and figured out it didn't impress them. Doing drugs and hanging out with political radicals are two very important American traditions that a lot of people can understand and connect with.

I doubt they feel the same way about assault and battery.

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So Romney went to one of the most elite private schools in the world and hazed someone by snipping some hair off.

The bigger issue is the colluding between the Washington Post and Administration to time this story with Obama coming out.

Here's a clip from Obama's book where he "beat up a girl", as i'm sure Couga would put it if it were about Romney.

Young Obama Bullied….A Girl | The Talk of the Times

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Doing drugs and hanging out with political radicals are two very important American traditions that a lot of people can understand and connect with.

.

As is teasing gay kids and hazing in the 60's....

Chill on the dramatics. It's silly.

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As is teasing gay kids and hazing in the 60's....

Chill on the dramatics. It's silly.

Teasing is different from assault and battery.

I've already mentioned that being anti-gay in the 50s and 60s was a lot different than today. So maybe you yourself should chill.

What's more interesting is watching Mr. Etch-a-Sketch filp and flop and thrust his way out of this by saying he didn't remember, but then saying he did remember but didn't think he was gay, then issuing a non-apology apology, then complaining that we're not talking about the economy.

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So Romney went to one of the most elite private schools in the world and hazed someone by snipping some hair off.

The bigger issue is the colluding between the Washington Post and Administration to time this story with Obama coming out.

Here's a clip from Obama's book where he "beat up a girl", as i'm sure Couga would put it if it were about Romney.

Young Obama Bullied….A Girl | The Talk of the Times

LOL. I know you're not that naive to think that Romney's incident is in any way comparable to that one. Just admit it that your guy was a huge douchebag for most of his life...and probably still is.

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No, what's more interesting is watching the Washington Post play lap dog to their master. I thought the President was against corporations helping out a candidate?

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No, what's more interesting is watching the Washington Post play lap dog to their master. I thought the President was against corporations helping out a candidate?

The Post is probably eternally pissed that they got had by the Bush Administration over the Iraq War.

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well as far as we know none of Romney's friends tried to blow up our soldiers....

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This is like watching an old, unhappily married couple argue. No former wrong is off limits.

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That's a fair point to make. It was probably very easy, especially as an insecure teenager, to "go with the flow" back then -- when gay bullying was probably acceptable. However, this incident paints Romney as the chief aggressor, not just someone going along to get along. It also involves physical assault and battery -- not just words and "comments."

I call BS. The choice not to participate in the abuse of another human being for any motivation is not a matter of time or place or habit or socialization. It's a simple matter of your own character and the character you demand in the people you hang with.

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I call BS. The choice not to participate in the abuse of another human being for any motivation is not a matter of time or place or habit or socialization. It's a simple matter of your own character and the character you demand in the people you hang with.

I think we do have to give some deference in general to kids in high school. Often kids like that just do what they're taught to do to fit in. Many are not old enough to think independently and think for themselves -- or stand up for injustice if that means alienating your friends. Peer pressure can be a great force. The bullies in my schools ended up becoming decent people after a while.

That's not to say I'm making an excuse. Especially for Romney in this incident. This went beyond bullying to outright physical assault, battery, and defacing someone's physical body. It's far beyond the normal high school kid mischief. The fact that Romney thinks of it as being a "prankster" concerns me. Normal pranksters don't go this far. It's usually only troubled children.

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I think we do have to give some deference in general to kids in high school. Often kids like that just do what they're taught to do to fit in. Many are not old enough to think independently and think for themselves -- or stand up for injustice if that means alienating your friends. Peer pressure can be a great force. The bullies in my schools ended up becoming decent people after a while.

That's not to say I'm making an excuse. Especially for Romney in this incident. This went beyond bullying to outright physical assault, battery, and defacing someone's physical body. It's far beyond the normal high school kid mischief. The fact that Romney thinks of it as being a "prankster" concerns me. Normal pranksters don't go this far. It's usually only troubled children.

This was not even a case where he "went along". He instigated it. 16-17-18 is plenty old enough to know right from wrong.

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Owebama did drugs as a "young kid" (okay, he wasn't really that young). What's the point? Kids do stupid things?

People are scumbags sometimes when they are young. Onto the next outrageous MTS thread please.

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Owebama did drugs as a "young kid" (okay, he wasn't really that young). What's the point? Kids do stupid things?

People are scumbags sometimes when they are young. Onto the next outrageous MTS thread please.

There is 'doing stupid things' and there is doing 'cruel stupid things'. Big diff in my book.YMMV

And given that lack of empathy seems to be the repeating pattern of Mitt's life, it just reinforces the pattern.

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This is like watching an old, unhappily married couple argue. No former wrong is off limits.

Haha! So true.

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