Mitt Romney’s Lost Lesson On Tolerance

By Sam Fields

You can hardly blame a 16-year-old Mitt Romney for having to resort to bullying and beating homosexual John Lauber.

It took place at Cranbrook, Romney’s exclusive prep school. If Cranbrook was anything like most of the upper-class prep schools of that era they didn’t let in any Blacks or Jews for him to torture.

For those not familiar with the story, following President Barack Obama’s announcement of support for gay marriage Romney reiterated his opposition.

He stands by his Mormon values which hold that marriage is solely between a man and a woman…and a woman….and a woman, etc.

Following up on the gay marriage debate, The Washington Post wrote a story that as a high school student Romney had led the charge to attack classmate John Lauber.

With his bleached hair and effeminate mannerisms, Lauber was suspected of being a homosexual.

While Romney’s henchmen held him down, the future GOP nominee cut his hair while a terrified Lauber cried.

Confronted by a reporter with the accusation, Romney  stated:

“I don’t remember that incident,” Romney said, laughing. “I certainly don’t believe that I thought the fellow was homosexual. That was the furthest thing from our minds back in the 1960s, so that was not the case.”

So if I understand, he doesn’t remember thinking Lauber was a homosexual at the time of an incident that he doesn’t remember in the first place.

It’s vintage Romney and it is a lie.  Absent Alzheimer’s, the only reason you would forget this particular act was because there were so many others like it.

Unlike Mitt, some are now coming forward to admit their shame.  One, Phillip Maxwell, vividly described their posse as “a pack of dogs”.

As for his contention that homosexuality “…was the furthest thing from our minds back in the 1960’s…” that his next lie.

I am a contemporary of Romney and he is correct we did not talk about “gays” or “homosexuals”.

The Anti-Gay Era

No, we talked about “queers”, “queerbaits”, “homos”, “happy homos”, fags, faggots, etc.

And we knew who they were.  At least we thought we knew who they were.  Taunting them was a varsity sport that “all real men” engaged in sadly including me.

Back in the 1950’s and 60’s, Miami’s Bayfront Park was known as a place where gays hung out.  It was considered sport by some to go down there and “roll the queers”.  It was perfectly acceptable to beat them up and take their money.  It was the perfect crime because the victim would never report it.

I never engaged in that activity, but I cannot deny that I felt the need to keep my mouth shut about the injustice lest I be thought to be gay.

When I was not being taunted as a Jew, I was glad to join into the redirection of bigotry toward a different group.

Michigan was no different where Romney was a Mormon in the midst of a WASP prep school.  I strongly suspect being seen as a Mormon outsider was on in his mind.

It was not too long ago that Mormons with their polygamy and magical underwear were seen as a secretive whack job cult that make Scientologists look like mainstream Lutherans.

To avoid that kind of ostracizing, Mitt knew how to redirect the Lord Of The Flies impulses of young men toward another group….gays.

I suspect those who have said it is unfair to attack Mitt for his high school antics are some of the very same folks who have gone after Obama because of his elementary school days.

I say otherwise.

Last week Mitt Romney had a potential for a profound teaching moment about the evils of bigotry.

He could have talked about how he has grown as a human being and come to realize how profoundly hateful and hurtful this homophobic act was.  He might even have had an introspective moment regretting that he destroyed the high school experience of someone who had done him no harm.

Not wanting to offend his rightwing Christian base he punted with a phony memory lapse of an incident that the other participants vividly remember all too well.

Next month I have my 50th high school reunion. I will be looking for the opportunity to apologize and ask the forgiveness of those I may have hurt.

Even if he wanted to, Mitt won’t have that chance.  John Lauber died in 2004 probably still wondering what he a done to earn the wrath and ridicule of Mitt Romney and his lynch mob.

John Laurer, your only crime was that you were different in a world that demanded conformity in every way possible.

It’s the fantasy hateful world Romney and conservative base want to take us back to.

22 Responses to “Mitt Romney’s Lost Lesson On Tolerance”

  1. Richard J Kaplan says:


    I am from Michigan and lived near Cranbrook. Though I did not attend it, many Jews attended that school (including my cousin). I can’t say the blacks did, but it would not have surprised me if they did. I know they do now. If you could afford going there you could.

    What Romney did was not a result of the wealth of his family or being a Mormon (I had friends who were Mormons, and they didn’t pick on others. Actually they were very quiet and to themselves), but the bigotry instilled in his society and that he was taught that is was OK to do.

    It was part of how some treated others. It was full of bullies and clicks that took advantage of those weaker, different or perceived to be inferior. I know because I was one of those that were treated badly by others, and I still feel it today.

    It was mean and unfortunately still exists today.

    The problem I specifically have with Romney is that it took a Presidential Bid to finally admit what he did, and only when someone was going tell everyone about it. He wasn’t honest.

    Plus, he still has done nothing to atone for what he did, but instead continues to hold to beliefs that encourages others to perpetuate acceptance of treating others differently.

  2. Sam the Sham says:

    Great research Sam. Not. Richard Kaplan is correct, both blacks and Jews attended Cranbrook in the early 1960s. I am in awe of your magical ability to not only read Romney’s mind now, but also, to go back almost 50 years in time and read his mind then. A remarkable feat.

    Sam, just because you used to bully gays does not mean that everybody did.

  3. Jack Murphy says:

    Typical democrat smear tactics. This all happened when?
    45 years ago? Grow up 11 pages in a leftist newspaper what happened could not find anything real? An exactly what kind of angel were you in High School Sam………..hmm makes one wonder…..slime by any name is still slime grow up an face it your Obama is a failure..Even Oprah hates him for being a wimp with his wife….

  4. Lamberti is garbage says:

    I have to have people bully people for me because I am a coward and a failure. Will I be bullied in prison?

  5. mister courthouse says:

    Sam The Sham, At least no one is going to jail because of Sam’s mistakes this time. He saves that for the courthouse.

  6. Floridan says:

    Almost evereyone did something shameful in high school, but who actually believes that Romney wouldn’t remember this incident (which he does not deny)?

    I find all this convenient loss of memory among the “best and brightest” a disturbing trend.

  7. Hoos Bin Pharteen says:

    Decisions BHO made as an adult, 20 years with Rev. Wright, and giving AK-47s to Mexican drug dealers (there are scores more in the last <4 years alone), should have your attention if you had a lick of sense.

  8. Constituent says:

    I will not vote for either at top of ticket just like 2008 because in a country of almost 100 million men this is the best we can offer? Please. Sad that the country is so deep in debt we will need exponents to show on our calculators that only go out 8 places to the left of the decimal. His actions to early adulthood and marriage are no worse than b.h.o.’s once a senator.

  9. Normpr148 says:

    Sam, as usual you are showing your arrogance and stupidity and it is so evident that if Romney was a Democrat this article would never be written but because he is a Republican you have to berate him

  10. WestDavieResident says:

    Wow. We are talking about what Mitt Romney did in high school 45 years ago. My friends and I stole Bob’s Big Boy and put him on our high school roof as a high school prank. Does that make me unqualified to run for public office too?

    Smoking marijuana did not disqualify Bill Clinton from being President. And Obama writes of experimenting with hard drugs in his formative years. Where was and is the outrage about electing these lawbreakers?

    And while we worry about Mitt’s high school activities, perhaps we can focus on Obama’s college and law school transcripts. Oh I forgot, he has refused to release either of them yet the media found time to go back in time to report on Newt Ginrich’s doctoral thesis!

    Obama’s Presidential election campaign will be the dirtiest since our founding fathers regularly libeled each other with smear campaigns. Hopefully Mitt will stand his ground and make Obama’s connection to Reverend Wright, Tony Resco, Bill Ayers and his parents who allegedly funded his Columbia tuition, and the other anti-Americans and socialists in his past.

    This will definitely be the most important election our country has had in my lifetime. Whether we continue on the self-destructive path of Obama who even Bill Clinton called too incompetent to continue being President or elect Mtt Romney to get back to the basics which our founding fathers intended for our federal government.

  11. Richard J. Kaplan says:

    Yes we are talking about 45 years ago when it was a crime and he should have been charged criminally as an adult. Assault and Battery, Hate Crime, and I am sure a few other things.

    He’s extremely lucky that charges were not filed on him and that he doesn’t have a criminal record. The only reason probably being that the victim he attacked was too scared to do anything about it.

    What bothers me even more now is how he responded to it 45 years later when it was discovered, and the continuing views he has against people that he previously victimized.

    That does raise the specter of being unqualified to hold office in my view.

    Note: I was a great admirer of his father, George Romney, but it isn’t carrying over to his son.

  12. John Fusaro says:

    What grown adult can say they never picked on someone? In the age of social media its magnified 1000%. I am heavy I was always ridiculed as a child, teen, and adult. I always had a problem with 1 or 2 kids. I never had to face 1 kid and 500 of his Facebook friends. To say someone is unfit for office is purely a political stance. President Obama has admitted to drug use, and picking on someone. Does that make him unfit?

  13. electricjack says:

    You want to really talk about something important Sammy:
    Broward Teachers Union Campaign Cash Scandal Claims Another Victim
    15th May 2012 at 16:59 | By Tom Lauder
    Broward Teachers Union Campaign Cash Scandal Claims Another Victim

    Leonard Lee (photo courtesy WPLG Channel 10)

    Another arrest has been made in the growing Broward Teachers Union campaign contributions scandal.According to records from the Broward Clerk of Courts, Leonard Lee was charged on March 21, 2012 with one count of violation of campaign contributions, a misdemeanor. Lee appeared before Judge Stacy Ross and received probation. Lee is the fifth person charged in the ongoing investigation.Previously charged were BTU Vice President Bernie Schultz, Secretary Ronney Virgillito, Chief Negotiator George Segna and Special Operations Director Lynn Cavall.

    WPLG Local 10, the Miami/Fort Lauderdale ABC affiliate, reports Lee is actually employed by the national American Federation of Teachers (AFT). “What separates Lee, who has been sentenced to probation, is that he’s not officially with BTU but with the 1.5 million member strong American Federation of Teachers. He serves as deputy director for the southeast region for that organization — which is ironically tasked with cleaning up the union after the Santeramo debacle.”

    The AFT took over operations of the BTU after the scandal came to light late last year. Law enforcement has told Media Trackers Florida to expect more arrests.

  14. Watcher says:

    If being a schmuck disqualified a pol who’d we have…the point is that we should expect our leaders to look at themselves honestly and act toward others with integrety…Romney did miss a chance to be real as Sam suggests

  15. Richard J. Kaplan says:

    Romney committed a VIOLENT CRIME and YES I THINK, based upon how he has handled until now, MAKES HIM UNFIT. He has never done any type of restitution or real demonstration of his errors.

    Obama, if he did violate the law (and I am not saying he didn’t), violated a victimless crime.

    Also, while it is still wrong, picking on someone is far different than “While Romney’s henchmen held him down, the future GOP nominee cut his hair while a terrified Lauber cried.” Romney is lucky that he didn’t send Lauber to the hospital with physical injuries.

    Our society recognizes the difference and it is reflected in the type of punishment given.

    PS I never committed a violent crime on anyone. I was also heavy, and I am Jewish. I have been picked on, beating up on, and otherwise bullied by others, usually in groups of 4 to 7 until I left high school. I have a particular sensitivity. But until now I pretty much have supressed it for the same reason Lauber probably did. Fear and a belief no one would believe me to help.

  16. Sam the Sham says:

    Richard, someone bullied you in High School and you are still carrying that around? Geez, man up and get over it.

    I get bullied every day by small minded government bureaucrats who hold power over me. Should I cry now?

  17. Richard J Kaplan says:

    Someone bullied me since elementary school as early as 2nd grade. No I won’t get over it because that is why bullies still exist today, and I don’t mean emotionally (which isn’t OK either), but physically.

    You don’t know what it is like when groups of kids literally beat you up after school just because you are Jewish and heavy. You are an easy target. When you have to run home as soon as school got out to avoid being beat up. When no one comes to your defense.

    Of course you may have been one of those that beat up on others. If so, do you have any regrets and what have you done to try to right the wrong?

    The last event was in High School when a bunch of classmates were point blank throwing footballs at me. The Coach saw the whole thing and not one of the bullies were punished. He felt just like you, “get over it.”

    BTW, if anyone is being bullied you should stand up for yourself and get help. It’s not right. It hurts. We need to teach our children the same thing.

  18. roadrunner says:

    try being a woman. men try to bully us all the time. or have a boss, they can bully you, too, and u have to take it cuz u need a paycheck. a lot of people get bullied in all different ways. suck it up and get over it!

  19. Richard J Kaplan says:

    Sorry, I don’t believe women should be bullied either. No one should be and it is a serious problem starting in our schools. If you do then you are part of the problem. If you don’t do something about stopping it, it will continue.

    Curious how years later we condemn priests years ago that took advantage of young boys, people that years ago abused girls, or about the Holocaust, but then do not offer the same condemnation involving other forms of assault and violent crimes years later.

    No I won’t get over it. Ever. Those subjected to violent crimes can’t just “suck it up” and cannot condone others that act like it is OK to do.

  20. Ok . says:

    So what your saying is just take the bullying and move on? Then I guess we are raising s better world for our children then because we don’t tell them hey your being bullied get over do we ? I feel for you if you can’t stand up to a bully. You are your own worst enemy.

  21. roadrunner says:

    no, i’m saying don’t dwell on the past with the “poor me” stuff. let it go and move on and be happy. unless u want to go on facebook and find your bully and ask for an apology. be happy in the moment today. peace!

  22. Ana Gomez-Mallada says:

    For shame, that Fields and other Obama followers saw fit to drag this young man’s memory through the mud AGAINST HIS FAMILY’S WISHES just to try to score a political point. Have you no decency?