Oberlin College halted purchases from Gibson’s Bakery targeted by #BlackLivesMatter, but may reconsider
Gibson’s Bakery: “There was no profiling going on, unless you count profiling against shoplifters”
Oberlin College certainly is an “exciting” place to be these days.
Oberlin just fired a professor after antisemitic Facebook posts, students are petitioning to become a sanctuary campus, and the President of Oberlin just circulated an email about antisemitic vandalism at an unnamed professor’s house.
That come just after calls from Black Lives Matters supporters on campus to boycott Gibson’s Bakery, near the Oberlin College campus. The spark was the arrest of a black student for shoplifting and assault, and two other students for assault on the shop owner.
In response, Oberlin College appears to have ceased purchasing baked goods from Gibson’s, in apparent sympathy with the boycott call:
The college did not purchase its daily order of doughnuts and bagels from Gibson’s Bakery on Monday. However, a college spokesman said the decision should not be viewed as a boycott on the store.
“This is something that we did today as we evaluate and review what’s gong on,” said Scott Wargo, director of media relations. “We’ve reached out to Gibson’s to have a conversation and dialogue so we can work together moving forward.”
Wargo said students and faculty simply went without a morning pastry and did not purchase the breakfast foods from another location.
I asked Wargo to clarify that comment, but he simply repeated virtually the same statement: “The College is in dialogue with Gibson’s to discuss this matter and how we can work together moving forward.” He has not yet responded to a request to clarify whether, as of now, the purchases have resumed.
Gibson’s is more than a bakery. It’s more of a bakery plus general store. And it has been hit hard by shoplifting
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports on how the store rejects claims of discrimination and police stats support the store, Oberlin College protest at bakery over, students hope for peaceful dialogue:
Owner David Gibson Monday said allegations of racial profiling hurt. He said the store has been at its location since 1905, serving the community and the college, and that his great-grandfather started the business in 1885.
“My great-grandfather, Orcemus Cass Gibson, started this business with a pushcart,” he said. “We love this community. We have worked our lifetimes to help keep this community together. I want the students to come here, it’s not right to say we discriminate.”
David Gibson said the entire incident is about a case of shoplifting that has gotten out of hand
“There was no profiling going on, unless you count profiling against shoplifters,” he said. “We have a huge problem with shoplifting. We did an examination last year and found that more than 1,000 items had been stolen through shoplifting. We found empty boxes on the shelves and many missing items. We had to crack down on shoplifting if we are going to be able to survive as a store. But we would never discriminate against anyone.” …
Oberlin Lt. Michael McCloskey said he did not believe that Gibson’s discriminates based on race, but he ordered his officers to do some digging.
“We looked at arrests for shoplifting at Gibson’s for the past five years to see if there was evidence of racism,” he said. “Since 2011, there have been four robberies at the store, including Aladin, and he was the only black person. There were 40 adults arrested for shoplifting in five years, and 32 were white. There were six black suspects arrested and two Asians, and 33 of the 40 were college students.”
He said that Gibson’s has the largest number of shoplifting cases in the city, right after WalMart.
As we further reported, the community has rallied around the bakery, Bakery targeted by Oberlin College #BlackLivesMatter fights back:
I’ve seen many online comments about people placing orders to be shipped from the store. Here is their phone number if you want to order: (440) 774-2401
This video calling on the community to rally around the bakery has over 500,000 views.
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