Looks like Mitt Romney was quite the prankster in prep school. According to the Washington Post, his friends recall a mean-spirited prank where a group of students pinned down fellow classmate John Lauber, presumed to be gay, while Romney chopped off his hair. Romney was offended by the boy’s bleached-blond hair that draped over one eye.
Certainly it was a horrible act of bullying, but we all make mistakes and should learn from them. One of Romney’s fellow classmates remorsefully recalled his participation in the assault as a black stain on his character. However, Romney’s first response was remarkably different from his childhood friend’s. After a Fox News Radio host recounted the horrific incident, Romney literally chuckled while saying, “I don’t remember that incident…IF I did stupid things I have to say I’m sorry for it.”
If someone recounted a story to me where I was accused of physically assaulting a student I would not chuckle. What he did almost 40 years ago can be forgiven, but to respond so flippantly about a heinous act can not. It says a great deal about a person’s character.
In a recent CBS interview prior to the Washington Post story, Anne Romney said,“Stiff, he’s not, he’s funny.” She added, “I still look at him as the boy I met in high school when he was playing all the jokes and really being crazy, pretty crazy.”
His wife seems to have a very vivid memory of her husband’s practical jokes, but her husband does not when it doesn’t suit the narrative that he’s anything but a big bore unable to relate to voters.
Romney has referred to himself as a jokester back in the 60s, but in 2012 he would be considered a bully. The “jokes” detailed in the Washing Post were always at the expense of the weak, a gay guy and see impaired teachers, not the captain of the football team. It’s not funny to make fun of the weak. Romney cavalier response to his behavior as a teenage is very telling and it certainly should be used to judge him today, not necessarily his acts over 50 years ago.
In honor of John Lauber, let’s all wear our hair bleach blond. Download the blond hair clip art here and turn your hair blond for the day.
I created some memes for people who have spoken out against Mitt Romney’s non-apology. Send me some suggestion of people who deserve a meme at firstname.lastname@example.org.