The Single most amazing (and insulting) line from the Oberlin College story.

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The Single most amazing (and insulting) line from the Oberlin College story.

There is a lot being writ­ten about the Ober­lin Col­lege ver­dict award­ing Gib­son Bak­ery over 11 mil­lion for defama­tion. The best of it of course com­ing from the com­pre­hen­sive cov­er­age of the story by the good folks at Legal insur­rec­tion here is nearly full set of links from their site.

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.
Here are our trial posts:
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 590-​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”

Every sin­gle bit of it is worth your time but if you really want to to read one para­graph that sums up what was going on at Ober­lin Col­lege this bit from the 9th day of the trial is it.

What seemed to be the key tip­ping point for David Gib­son and his fam­ily was the school ignor­ing their request for any men­tion in a let­ter they were not racist, and the school’s insis­tence that stu­dents be given a “first-​time pass” on shoplift­ing. What that pass meant, accord­ing how Gib­son tes­ti­fied it was explained to him, was he and other busi­ness own­ers in town would call the school on the first-​time a stu­dent shoplifted at their store, and then call the police on sub­se­quent thefts.

Let that sink though your head. The bak­ery was talk­ing to the school try­ing to defuse the sit­u­a­tion and the school demanded that the stu­dents going to their $70,000 a year col­lege ( $68,672. to be exact) be given a free pass to steal from their bak­ery at least once before get­ting police involved.

and let’s not for­get that the would be get­ting a pass to do more than just steal

That same for­mer Ober­lin Police offi­cer, Vic­tor Ortiz, tes­ti­fied that the assault was not some­thing the Gibson’s employee as tak­ing part in, except as the vic­tim of assault. “When we got there, we saw two young ladies stand­ing over [the Gib­son employee] and throw­ing hay­mak­ers at him,” he said. “The two women would stand over him and kick him, and then crouch down and throw punches. As we got closer, we could see him on his back, with the male [shoplifter] on top of him and punch­ing him.”

So if Ober­lin got their way stu­dents from the col­lege rob­bing a busi­ness would face no legal con­se­quences. No word if beat­ing employ­ees of the store get­ting robbed would still be con­sid­ered an issue. And what’s worse that’s all based on race.

I’m not a black Man but I am of Sicil­ian ances­try and we have a his­tory of peo­ple think­ing of us as a bunch of thugs and as a Sicil­ian I’d be insulted by the idea that my col­lege thought so lit­tle of my char­ac­ter or my ances­try and/​or race that they felt the need to give me a mul­li­gan on crime to pre­vent a racial issue.

There was a time when lead­ers of the black com­mu­nity would be insulted by the college’s pre­sump­tion that black stu­dents at a 70K a year col­lege have to be pro­tected from them­selves when it comes to thievery.

But I guess they don’t make lead­ers like they used to.

NOTE: Baldilocks will be post­ing tomor­row morn­ing rather than tonight.

Update: Don Surber notes another impor­tant point about this story

Legal Insur­rec­tion cov­ered an impor­tant national story that the “national” media gave short shrift. They were too busy watch­ing those old Mueller Reports fall.


This site is paid for by you. If you think what we do worth­while please con­sider sub­scrib­ing to help keep our writ­ers and the bills paid.


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There is a lot being written about the Oberlin College verdict awarding Gibson Bakery over 11 million for defamation. The best of it of course coming from the comprehensive coverage of the story by the good folks at Legal insurrection here is nearly full set of links from their site.

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.
Here are our trial posts:
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”

Every single bit of it is worth your time but if you really want to to read one paragraph that sums up what was going on at Oberlin College this bit from the 9th day of the trial is it.

What seemed to be the key tipping point for David Gibson and his family was the school ignoring their request for any mention in a letter they were not racist, and the school’s insistence that students be given a “first-time pass” on shoplifting. What that pass meant, according how Gibson testified it was explained to him, was he and other business owners in town would call the school on the first-time a student shoplifted at their store, and then call the police on subsequent thefts.

Let that sink though your head. The bakery was talking to the school trying to defuse the situation and the school demanded that the students going to their $70,000 a year college ( $68,672. to be exact) be given a free pass to steal from their bakery at least once before getting police involved.

and let’s not forget that the would be getting a pass to do more than just steal

That same former Oberlin Police officer, Victor Ortiz, testified that the assault was not something the Gibson’s employee as taking part in, except as the victim of assault. “When we got there, we saw two young ladies standing over [the Gibson employee] and throwing haymakers at him,” he said. “The two women would stand over him and kick him, and then crouch down and throw punches. As we got closer, we could see him on his back, with the male [shoplifter] on top of him and punching him.”

So if Oberlin got their way students from the college robbing a business would face no legal consequences. No word if beating employees of the store getting robbed would still be considered an issue. And what’s worse that’s all based on race.

I’m not a black Man but I am of Sicilian ancestry and we have a history of people thinking of us as a bunch of thugs and as a Sicilian I’d be insulted by the idea that my college thought so little of my character or my ancestry and/or race that they felt the need to give me a mulligan on crime to prevent a racial issue.

There was a time when leaders of the black community would be insulted by the college’s presumption that black students at a 70K a year college have to be protected from themselves when it comes to thievery.

But I guess they don’t make leaders like they used to.

NOTE: Baldilocks will be posting tomorrow morning rather than tonight.

Update: Don Surber notes another important point about this story


Legal Insurrection covered an important national story that the “national” media gave short shrift. They were too busy watching those old Mueller Reports fall.

This site is paid for by you. If you think what we do worthwhile please consider subscribing to help keep our writers and the bills paid.
Choose a Subscription level
Of course one time Tip jar hits and always welcome too.