WASHINGTON. At a time when arch-liberal social media sites are censoring right-of-center voices, it’s understandable that those on the left feel emboldened to say just about anything about, well, just about anybody. Leftist narratives now win by default. That’s because leftist social media sites and American colleges and universities like Oberlin College have systematically “disappeared” all potential opponents. That makes for an easy win in any argument. So much for free speech.
But perhaps things are beginning to change. Example: The arrogant leftist snowflakes and administrators at Ohio’s Oberlin College were schooled last Friday on the legal concept of libel. And that lesson cost that university administration’s enabling sycophants $11 million. (Oberlin College to pay bakery $11M after furthering racism accusations: jury)
Maybe Americans are discovering a way to derail the ominous freight train of leftist narratives that are managing to tear this country apart.
Petty shoplifters and hateful narratives
The controversy centers on a shoplifting incident occurring in 2016 at the town of Oberlin’s long-lived and popular Gibson’s Bakery. Back then, three Oberlin students attempted to purchase alcohol with a fake ID at the store. They also shoplifted store items at Gibson’s before fleeing down the street.
Owner Allyn Gibson, 90, and his son David, 64, gave chase. A violent confrontation ensued. When police arrived on the scene, two of the students were assaulting Allyn Gibson, who was lying on the ground.
All three students are African-Americans. The Gibson family is white. Leftist narratives, incoming.
Attackers claims victimhood
The shoplifting trio promptly accused store proprietors of “racial profiling.” Given Oberlin College’s well-known radical-left culture, this naturally brought instant trouble to the doorstep of Gibson’s Bakery.
According to the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram:
“Days following the students’ arrest, Oberlin students began protesting outside of the shop and the college Student Senate passed a resolution stating Gibson’s ‘had a history of racial profiling and discriminatory treatment.’ Oberlin Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo took part in demonstrations, using a bullhorn to shout that the Gibson’s were ‘racist.’”
Former Oberlin police officer Victor Ortiz later testified that student demonstrators had
“… a mob mentality out there… People were getting flyers shoved in their faces saying Gibson’s were racist, curse words were chanted, and they chanted how this business was racist too.”
Defunding their victims: A favorite tactic of American and American university leftists
Bon Appetit, a company that provides cafeteria services for the college, quickly broke business ties with the bakery at the urging of college authorities. They likely feared to become the next victim of the “spontaneous” leftist narratives already swirling about a hapless small business in town.
And indeed, the business quickly dropped off for the hapless bakery. Gibson’s was soon forced to lay off its 12-member non-family staff. In all, the Gibson family estimates it lost nearly $6 million in revenue due to the phony charges of racism lodged against them.
Ironically, the three students that triggered the incident and subsequent backlash would eventually plead guilty to shoplifting and aggravated trespass. They also submitted written statements to the court admitting that the Gibson family did not engage in racial profiling.
And so, harsh reality crushed the victimhood narrative of student protesters, air-headed college functionaries, and petty shoplifting perps alike.
With reality now firmly on their side, the Gibson family turned the weaponized charge of racism back on Oberlin College where at least one college administrator had encouraged it. The ensuing lawsuit proved a teachable moment for its angry student body and faculty snowflakes.
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See you in court
The Gibsons sued the college and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo for libel, tortious interference with business relationships, tortious interference with contracts, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Gibson attorney Lee Plakas confronted Raimondo in court with a flyer she admitted to handing out during the bakery protest. The flyer said in part,
“A member of our community was assaulted by the owner of this establishment yesterday.”
The clear implication was that a student shoplifter was the real victim.
Additionally, Plankas asked Raimondo if she stood by the statement. “I don’t know,” was all Raimondo kept repeating.
When David Gibson eventually took the stand, he looked over to his 90-year-old father. He then addressed the court.
“I realized very soon… that my dad was going to pass away labeled a racist… Without [Oberlin College] coming out and offering a message that we were not racist – it was going to go on forever. They caused this thing, and they needed to step up and do the right thing. They never did.”
Friday, the Gibson name, mounted in neon above the family’s bakery entrance, burned brightly once again thanks to an $11 million award by a Lorain County jury.
A small price to pay for Oberlin College, one of the numerous college and university factories of the left’s false and hateful narratives. The American university system has increasingly been “fundamentally transformed” into a series of costly Marxist re-education camps. In this case, at least, Oberlin College may yet learn that casually destroying the good name of a family and its livelihood can boomerang.
Top Image: Gibson’s Bakery in Oberlin, Ohio. Fox News screen capture.