One question I have asked is: what did Mitt Romney, who claims he wept when he heard the news about the end of white supremacy in the LDS Church in 1978, do to challenge the racist policy before he was 31? In a WaPo piece by Jason Horowitz a while back, there's a clue in an anecdote about his time at Brigham Young University. Money quote:
In 1970, students elected a liberal named Brian Walton as their president despite the administration’s attempts to nullify the results. "It was an unbelievably conservative place," said Walton, who later left the church and became a chief negotiator for the Screen Writers Guild in Los Angeles. "You wouldn’t believe the things some people were saying — complaining about the civil rights laws, that it would take away their rights."
Jon Ferguson, Walton’s vice president, also ultimately left the church. He later wrote several novels, including "The Missionary," about a young Mormon in France who loses his faith. "When we did all this stuff on Vietnam, it was like the first turmoil BYU had had," Ferguson said. "BYU has never had so much excitement." Walton and Ferguson also sought to allay anger over the church doctrine barring black priests by meeting with black student unions around the country.
Romney navigated a vastly different world. "You didn’t think too much of people who were going out to try and demonstrate to persuade the brethren," said his friend McBride, who noted that only a revelation from the church president could change the doctrine. "It’s not something [Mitt] would have done. From a church and priesthood leadership perspective, it would be unseemly as well as useless."
When Romney’s old school, Stanford, announced at the end of 1969 that it would boycott athletic competitions with BYU, Romney was incensed.
"I remember sitting in a football stadium with Mitt, he and Ann were sitting next to me, and I do remember Mitt being really angry with Stanford," said Cameron, Ann’s onetime suitor. "He felt like it was, A, naive, and, B, sort of a bigoted, narrow-minded perspective."
Romney was not incensed by the racism as some of his peers were. He regarded their protests as "unseemly." He was incensed that BYU's racism led to a boycott of BYU's football team! And he saw that boycott – not the policy – as bigoted.