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Ravi and Romney

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Mike Signorile:

The Dharun Ravi verdict and sentencing represents a dramatic shift in society's view of anti-gay bullying and of bias crimes against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. Just compare what Ravi did to Tyler Clementi to what Mitt Romney did to a nonconforming student at his prep school in 1965, according to five of his classmates who spoke to The Washington Post. Ravi spied on his gay roommate and humiliated him, or as the charge stated, intimidated him. He was convicted of several crimes.

Mitt Romney and his buddies not only bullied a boy who some perceived to be gay, but engaged in what very much looks like an antigay assault, holding down the crying boy while Romney cut his hair. It was what we would today call outright gay-bashing. Romney not only didn't face any criminal penalty but there were no ramifications for him at his prep school. At the time, such acts were sloughed off with a "boys will be boys'" mentality. Today, we've been seriously debating whether a student who intimidated -- but didn't physically assault -- his roommate should have received 10 years in jail and be deported versus a lighter sentence.
Mike goes on to note that, of course, the Clementi case is different in that the student ended up killing himself. But Mike makes a good point. The things Romney did were out and out bullying, pure and simple. And had he done them today, there'd be calls for him to be expelled.

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