Oberlin College Destroyed Small Bakery – Now It Will Pay Up

 

The day after the 2016 Presidential election, an African American Oberlin College student shoplifted from a bakery close to the campus.

The Chronicle-Telegram originally reported the story:

Oberlin police reported that Aladin tried to buy a bottle of wine Nov. 9 but Allyn Gibson, whose family owns the bakery, refused to sell it to him. Gibson confronted Aladin about the two bottles of wine the student allegedly had hidden under his shirt. The police report said Gibson told Aladin he was calling the police and not to leave. Aladin allegedly tried to leave, and Gibson told police he took out his phone to take a picture. That’s when Gibson said Aladin slapped the phone from his hand and the device hit Gibson in the face. Police have said Aladin then ran from the store, dropping the two bottles of wine to the floor.

Over the past almost three years, Oberlin College allowed for its students to whip themselves into a froth rather than the college calling out the individual who was an actual thief. The college did nothing to rein in those students who deemed the bakery owners as racist. As students arranged for demonstrations outside the bakery, professors and administrators joined in the protests. Flyers were made that became a common item in the community, and which announced with huge headlines that the bakery owners were racists. Eventually, the college refused to purchase any of the bakery’s goods for their cafeteria service.

Since when is calling the police when a crime is committed a racist activity? And if a college encourages its student body to become a massive, business-destroying organization, should the college itself be on the hook for damages?

Legal Insurrection reported on the story,

According to our reporter in the Courtroom, the jury awarded $11 million. Here are the details: Allyn W. Gibson was awarded $3 million, David Gibson $5.8 million, Gibson Bros. $2,274,500. Next Tuesday there will be separate punitive damage which could be a double award (meaning tripling the $11 million to $33 million). In the word’s of the article’s author, Oberlin College claimed the Bakery was worth only $35k, less than one semester at Oberlin College:

I’m still shaking my head at the tone-deafness of the defense in belittling this family business which has sustained five generations of Gibsons, and at the time of the protests sustained three generations: 90-year-old Allyn W. Gibson, his son David Gibson, and his grandson Allyn D. Gibson.

There were also almost a dozen employees. After the protests, the Gibsons stopped taking salaries and most of the employees have been laid off. This is real life to these people. To say that the business was worth only $35,000 erases the lives of these people. Maybe it’s just the plaintiff’s lawyer in me coming out, but I’d cross-examine this defense expert and college president, and show in closing argument, the tuition, room and board charges at Oberlin College. This business, which has been an important feature of the community since 1885, is deemed worth less than one semester at Oberlin College?

Published in General
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 25 comments.

  1. Kozak Member

    Couldn’t happen to a finer bunch then the Oberlin Progressives.

    • #1
    • June 8, 2019, at 10:59 AM PDT
    • 12 likes
  2. The Reticulator Member

    An e-mail from the Legal Insurrection Foundation said they were the only national news outlet that had a reporter present every day of the trial. Legal Insurrection articles on the subject are here.

     

    • #2
    • June 8, 2019, at 11:08 AM PDT
    • 17 likes
  3. Taras Coolidge

     Always bear in mind this is merely a successful skirmish in a war that is being lost. 

    Down the road, the judges deciding such cases will be former members of that howling mob. 

    • #3
    • June 8, 2019, at 11:10 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  4. Full Size Tabby Member

    It is important to keep in mind that this case is unusual in that this was more than just a student protest and boycott.

    It was clear from the beginning of the protests that the premise for the protests was a fabrication by the protest instigators. A high ranking university official was actively involved in the promoting the protests and the boycott (though she keeps trying to downplay her role). And the college actively participated in the boycott by ending college purchases from the bakery. So, Oberlin College’s role was more extensive than just tolerating bad behavior by its students. The college actively encouraged that bad behavior. Usually college administrators do a better job of hiding their involvement, and the only public face is some Adjunct or Assistant Professor whom the college can quickly distance itself from. Here it was a college Vice President and Dean of Students who fomented the protests. 

    Though even after the verdict the college continues to try to deny the clear-on-the-face demonstrated facts of its own participation in damaging the Gibsons’ business. 

    • #4
    • June 8, 2019, at 11:22 AM PDT
    • 21 likes
  5. Full Size Tabby Member

    On a more general outlook, I marvel that those who are so quick to find and to be bothered by “micro-agressions” see no problem with inflicting significant “macro-aggressions” on others. 

    Even if the premise of the protests had been true (blacks are more likely to be treated with suspicion than whites), the protesters and the college seemed to think that destroying the business and its owners was an appropriate response to a single offense. 

    In other circumstances, because one person feels offense at a single statement, that “offended” person considers it appropriate to get the person who made the statement fired from his or her job, or have the person’s business destroyed, or in some cases have the person physically assaulted and physically harmed. 

    • #5
    • June 8, 2019, at 11:38 AM PDT
    • 16 likes
  6. Miffed White Male Member

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):
    Even if the premise of the protests had been true (blacks are more likely to be treated with suspicion than whites), the protesters and the college seemed to think that destroying the business and its owners was an appropriate response to a single offense. 

    “Treated with suspicion” generally applies when the [minority] person in question is falsely accused of something.

    In this case the fact that they had two bottles of wine hidden in their shirt would tend to argue against the “falsely” part.

     

    • #6
    • June 8, 2019, at 11:56 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  7. ctlaw Coolidge

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Couldn’t happen to a finer bunch then the Oberlin Progressives.

    This fine bunch?

    https://www.truthrevolt.org/news/oberlin-profs-bizarre-anti-semitic-rants-ok-says-college

    • #7
    • June 8, 2019, at 12:10 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  8. Stad Thatcher

    Taras (View Comment):
    Down the road, the judges deciding such cases will be former members of that howling mob. 

    Not if we keep electing Presidents like Trump who will make sure these idiots are not appointed as judges. It’s going to be close, but I think we’ll win in the long run (fingers crossed) . . .

    • #8
    • June 8, 2019, at 12:13 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  9. Valiuth Member

    The system works… and jerks in the wrong get their comeuppance. 

    • #9
    • June 8, 2019, at 12:19 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  10. The Reticulator Member

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    The system works… and jerks in the wrong get their comeuppance.

    Sometimes they do get their cocmeuppance, and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes the system works in favor of the good guys, and sometimes it works in favor of the bad guys. There is nothing inevitable about it.

    • #10
    • June 8, 2019, at 12:32 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  11. RufusRJones Member

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    The system works… and jerks in the wrong get their comeuppance.

    Sometimes they do get their cocmeuppance, and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes the system works in favor of the good guys, and sometimes it works in favor of the bad guys. There is nothing inevitable about it.

    There are 30 pages in this book that say Reticulator is right. National Review.

     

    I may be overly cynical about the system, but it’s better than being the other way.

     

    • #11
    • June 8, 2019, at 12:38 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  12. ctlaw Coolidge

    Oberlin won on the “intentional infliction of emotional distress” count.

    My guess is that this encourages the judge to reduce the award on grounds such as double counting damage to the company and its owners.

     

    • #12
    • June 8, 2019, at 1:14 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  13. Taras Coolidge

    ctlaw (View Comment):

    Oberlin won on the “intentional infliction of emotional distress” count.

    My guess is that this encourages the judge to reduce the award on grounds such as double counting damage to the company and its owners.

     

    The judge doesn’t want the mob showing up on his doorstep!

    • #13
    • June 8, 2019, at 3:16 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  14. Taras Coolidge

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    The system works… and jerks in the wrong get their comeuppance.

    Sometimes they do get their cocmeuppance, and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes the system works in favor of the good guys, and sometimes it works in favor of the bad guys. There is nothing inevitable about it.

    There are 30 pages in this book that say Reticulator is right. National Review.

     

    I may be overly cynical about the system, but it’s better than being the other way.

     

    I posted a comment about Kevin earlier today:

    Over and over Kevin and Charlie [Cooke] point out the inconsistencies of progressive reasoning, as if progressives care whether their reasoning is consistent or not. 

    They are utilitarians. They care whether or not an argument of a particular kind, on a particular date, and before a particular audience serves their goals or not. It makes perfect sense for them to fight for leftists’ freedom of speech, and then turn around and do everything they can to silence conservatives. 

    • #14
    • June 8, 2019, at 3:22 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  15. The Reticulator Member

    Taras (View Comment):

    I posted a comment about Kevin earlier today:

    Over and over Kevin and Charlie [Cooke] point out the inconsistencies of progressive reasoning, as if progressives care whether their reasoning is consistent or not. 

    They are utilitarians. They care whether or not an argument of a particular kind, on a particular date, and before a particular audience serves their goals or not. It makes perfect sense for them to fight for leftists’ freedom of speech, and then turn around and do everything they can to silence conservatives. 

    And on that point they are as consistent as is possible.

    • #15
    • June 8, 2019, at 3:29 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  16. Scott Wilmot Member

    I just read about this case this morning at powerlineblog.com.

    I am a graduate of Oberlin College, class of 1980.

    Gibson’s Bakery was basically a part of the College – I would make a weekly Sunday morning pilgrimage there to buy donuts.

    It is wonderful to see the College lose this case – what a despicable act they pulled against this good family.

    The College was VERY liberal when I was there but I don’t recall this level of ass-hattery. They got what they deserved. My grandmother and my father’s cousin both attended the Oberlin Conservatory – they would be horrified at the actions of today’s college.

    • #16
    • June 8, 2019, at 5:08 PM PDT
    • 15 likes
  17. Scott Wilmot Member

    • #17
    • June 8, 2019, at 5:09 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  18. Old Bathos Member

    I keep hoping for that moment when the normals realize we are the vast majority and that nothing in the Constitution, common decency, morality or reason requires us to keep submitting to PC horseshit.

    • #18
    • June 8, 2019, at 5:10 PM PDT
    • 20 likes
  19. The Reticulator Member

    Following up on Legal Insurrection’s comment about news coverage, I googled for “oberlin bakery” to see who was covering the verdict. I see that there is news about the decision from:

    • New York Post
    • Fox News
    • Hot Air
    • Cleveland.com
    • Washington Examiner
    • The Oberlin Review
    • The Washington Times
    • The (Elyria) Chronicle-Telegram

    I’m trying to think of whether any important news outlets are missing from that list. Probably not.

    There are also links to old news. One particularly sleazy headline stands out. It’s from CBSnews.com in December 2017:

    “Racism dispute at bakery roils in Oberlin, Ohio”

    Yeah, that’s what their crack investigative reporters decided it was about. The lawsuit had already been filed then, but maybe they were too busy protecting the public’s right to know and didn’t have time to read it. We’ll see if they get around to covering the verdict.

    • #19
    • June 8, 2019, at 6:13 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  20. Percival Thatcher

    $11 million is quite a bit of scratch.

    Maybe Oberlin should hold a bake sale.

    • #20
    • June 8, 2019, at 7:37 PM PDT
    • 13 likes
  21. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Oberlin’s post-verdict attitude appears to be one of continuing to hold their position in both defending their actions and denigrating the Gibson family and their bakery in general, based on the idea that some judge somewhere up the food chain will lower the $11 million verdict to $1 or so on appeal.

    • #21
    • June 8, 2019, at 9:51 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  22. Henry Castaigne Member

    Isn’t it incredibly racist to judge an black thief different from a white thief?

    • #22
    • June 8, 2019, at 10:51 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  23. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    And sometimes the Bad Guys win. Like when the WA Supreme Court rules against the florist who declined to provide floral services to a homosexual “wedding”.

     

    • #23
    • June 8, 2019, at 10:58 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  24. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):
    Even if the premise of the protests had been true (blacks are more likely to be treated with suspicion than whites), the protesters and the college seemed to think that destroying the business and its owners was an appropriate response to a single offense.

    “Treated with suspicion” generally applies when the [minority] person in question is falsely accused of something.

    In this case the fact that they had two bottles of wine hidden in their shirt would tend to argue against the “falsely” part.

     

    It was interesting to me that at his court hearing, the shoplifter Aladin apologized for his actions. Somehow that admission of guilt and actual apology didn’t matter to the Oberlin mob.

    • #24
    • June 9, 2019, at 12:21 AM PDT
    • 10 likes
  25. jonb60173 Member

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Isn’t it incredibly racist to judge an black thief different from a white thief?

    yeah it would be, did that happen somewhere?

    • #25
    • June 9, 2019, at 1:42 PM PDT
    • 2 likes