Oberlin College deliberately set out to destroy a local bakery for insisting that laws apply to black college students. Now, in the case of Gibson’s Bakery v. Oberlin College, a jury has awarded 11 million dollars in damages to the bakery owners, and punitive damages might up the award to over 30 million.
Good. Very good. Spectacularly good.
Ethics Alarms first wrote about this awful story here. A precis:
On November 9, 2016—probably not coincidentally the day after Donald Trump was elected, throwing ultra-liberal schools like Oberlin into a ludicrously extended period of irrational fear and loathing—Jonathan Aladin, Endia Lawrence and Cecelia Whettstone were caught stealing bottles of wine from Gibson’s Bakery, a small family-owned establishment with a contract with Oberlin . As they have been duly trained by our culture, the students played the race card, initially claiming the shop had racially profiled them, and that their only misdeed was presenting fake IDs. When that wasn’t working, the three admitted their guilt and also signed statements that the store was innocent of any race-related bias. It also appears that the students punched and kicked the shopkeeper. … (Here is the police incident report.)
The day after the arrests, hundreds of students protested outside the bakery, and Oberlin’s student senate published a resolution saying Gibson’s had “a history of racial profiling and discriminatory treatment.” The Oberlin police conducted an investigation into the arrests and found “a complete lack of evidence of racism.” Over a five-year period, the bakery had pursued charges against 40 shoplifters, and only six were African-American.
…The owner met with then-Oberlin President Marvin Krislov and Tita Reed, assistant to the president, and they pressured him to drop criminal charges against the three students and any future student-thieves who were first time offenders. When he did not agree, the complaint alleges, the school made good on its threat and dropped its decade’s long contract with the bakery. … Meredith Raimondo, vice president and dean of students, joined students and members of the school faculty in campus demonstrations against the bakery, distributing a flyer that accused Gibson’s Bakery of being a “RACIST establishment with a LONG ACCOUNT of RACIAL PROFILING and DISCRIMINATION.” A boycott of the business was organized, and according to the complaint, facilitated by the school. College tour guides reportedly informed prospective students that Gibson’s is racist. …
The Ethics Alarms post listed the probable factors at work:
A left-besotted institution that is beholden to ideology and political cant, and when reality and the cant are incompatible, cant wins…
Anti-white racism being regarded as good racism, as opposed to the other kind…
Cowardly and principle-free college administrators who lack the integrity to tell black students when they are wrong and confused (and since when did trying to rob a local business and beating up the owner not get a college student expelled?)…
A school abusing its influence and power to bully a local business….
Legal Insurrection has done an excellent and thorough job of covering the story (as the mainstream news media has not). One of the defense lawyers, Lee Plakas, called the verdict “a national tipping point, ” saying,
“What the jury saw is that teaching students and having them learn how to be upstanding members of the community is what colleges are supposed to do, not appease some students who they are afraid of. People around the country should learn from this, that you can use the legal system to right the wrongs, even if the one doing the wrong is some huge institution who thinks they can do anything they want.”
It can’t be a tipping point if nobody knows about it outside of Ohio.
Here are the links to Legal Insurrection’s coverage:
- Bakery targeted by Oberlin College #BlackLivesMatter fights back
- Oberlin College halted purchases from Gibson’s Bakery targeted by #BlackLivesMatter, but may reconsider
- Gibson’s Bakery sues Oberlin College over racial profiling accusations, Oberlin cuts business ties
- Oberlin College lashes out at Gibson’s Bakery, portrays itself as victim
- Court: Gibson’s Bakery lawsuit against Oberlin College can continue in full
- Oberlin College: We can’t get a fair trial in our home county
- Judge rejects Oberlin College request to move town-gown lawsuit to another county
- Gibson’s Bakery v. Oberlin College — Trump 2016 win stoked student protests over shoplifting incident day after election
- Putting Social Justice Warfare on trial: Gibson’s Bakery lawsuit against Oberlin College heading to trial.
- Juror perceptions of reputation and social media emerge in questioning
- Opening Statements: Claims of War and Peace
- Trial Day 1 – “It was a mob mentality out there”
- Trial Day 2 – “I don’t know” may come back to haunt the defense
- Trial Day 3 – To “unleash the students” or not, that was the question
- Trial Day 4 – As protests grew, Mrs. Gibson was “very nervous and afraid”
- Trial Day 5 – 90-year-old Allyn W. Gibson testifies “some threats made to us”
- Trial Day 6 – What’s a bakery worth?
- Trial Day 7 — Damages Expert says Show Gibson’s The Money!
- Trial Day 8 — “my dad was going to pass away labeled as a racist”
- Trial Day 9 – “the business never came back”
- Defense motion for directed verdict DENIED, case going to the jury
- Alumni Weekend – Oblivious alums in for a shock if college loses
- Trial Day 10 – It depends upon what the meaning of the word “support” is
- Trial Day 11 – Don’t let them eat Gibson’s cake
- Trial Day 12 – Defense says Bakery worth only $35k, less than one semester at Oberlin College
- Trial Day 13 — Defense expert declares Gibson family 5-generation bakery history “irrelevant”
- Gibson’s Bakery v. Oberlin College trial reflects Higher Ed disconnect from the lives of most Americans
- Judge keeps out politics, but Town v. Gown frames the case
- Verdict this week?
- Closing Argument: “When a powerful institution says you are racist, you are doomed”