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Gibson’s Bakery v. Oberlin College – Trial Day 8 — “my dad was going to pass away labeled as a racist”

Gibson’s Bakery v. Oberlin College – Trial Day 8 — “my dad was going to pass away labeled as a racist”

David Gibson: “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.”

Today was Day 8 of witness testimony in Gibson Bros. v. Oberlin College. The events giving rise to the lawsuit have been said to represent “the worst of identity politics.”  You can read about some of the background on this case here.

In an emotional day of testimony, Gibson’s Bakery & Market owner David Gibson at one point looked at the jury and then across the room in the Ohio courtroom toward his 90-year-old father and his eyes welled up. “I realized very soon on how everything had been going in this, that my dad was going to pass away labeled as a racist.”

[David Gibson leaving courtroom][Photo by Daniel McGraw for Legal Insurrection Foundation]

“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,” he said, looking to his father.

David Gibson, 64, is the final witness that the plaintiffs will call in this case. His testimony was riveting at times, as he put some clarity on how much his business had tried to work with Oberlin College on this controversial problem. Mainly, to get them to at least put out some sort of message that the business, founded in 1885 and a town staple for the school, was not racist and had been wrongly accused.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7n8f8sLTDE&t=850s

[David Gibson explaining shoplifting incident][via police body cam video]

He raised some important points for the jury that had only been hinted at in previous testimony, which certainly had some direct impact on how Oberlin College acted after students raised the issue of racism in protests about the family and their business in 2016:

• He had at least three official meetings with school officials in the months after the students’ protests, including one with the Oberlin College president. He raised the request each time (and in several other phone conversations) that if the school would send out some message saying the business was not racist, they might be able to move toward with some form of reconciliation without going to court. “They ignored me,” he said.

• At his meeting with President Marvin Krislov at the school-provided mansion the president lived in, David Gibson explained to Krislov how his father had explained to him that he would have a hard time expunging being called a racist at his age. Krislov didn’t think that was a big deal. “I’ve been called a racist,” Gibson says Krislov answered him when he shared with him his father’s comments.

• When Gibson’s had had their food service deals with the school cafeterias cancelled, David was called by phone by the private service company that ran the operation, and not the school officials, that his company was no longer doing food service. “The private company managers who called me all apologized for having to get rid of us after the good work we did for them, and I got the feeling they were forced to do so or there would be some problems for them if they didn’t,” Gibson told the jury. He added, “The service managers told me [the decision of end food service] ‘It comes from the college and it comes from the top.’”

• He said that the school repeatedly indicated to him that if the Gibson’s dropped shoplifting charges against the three African-American students who were charged with trying to steal three bottles of wine on Nov, 9, 2016, that they might be able to work out some deal to get them their school cafeteria work back. High ranking school officials also asked him to agree to call the school and not police when shoplifting by students occurred at his store. “I told them we could not give students special treatment because this was something police had to deal with,” he told the jury. “It wasn’t our call to decide who is prosecuted and who is not. They kept answering me by saying, ‘We have to put this behind us,’ and didn’t want to move forward until we agreed to special treatment for students shoplifting. But I kept telling them that we have to be consistent and call the police no matter who is stealing.”

• As to why he thinks this all happened? “I look at this now and realize they wanted me to drop charges this time, and set up a system when we would call the college for first-time offenders,” David Gibson said. “[The school administration] had been accused of being racists by students in the previous year, and I think they used us to deflect from that problem they had. I believe they were using us as a target so that their racial problems with their students would go away.”

Plaintiff’s attorney Lee Plakas kept Gibson’s testimony short, and this seemed to work well for the jury. The judge is not allowing much info on the protest itself where students chanted Gibson’s was racist, as the case is about how much did Oberlin College add to the accusations that Gibson’s had been racially profiling students shoppers at their store. Hence the two key pieces of evidence are a flyer passed out at the protests, and an Oberlin College student senate resolution.

[Flyer handed out by protesters outside Gibson’s Bakery]

https://www.facebook.com/OCStudentSenate/photos/a.10150653508714368/10155590200144368/?type=3&theater

Both say quite clearly that Gibson’s was racist and had a long history of being that.

David Gibson also testified that in early 2017, the school told him they had done an informal survey of town residents on the racial issues the local citizenry might have with Gibson’s and found no evidence of any racial problems with the business. Even with such clear evidence, the school still refused to do any letters or emails to students that Gibson’s was not thought of as racists among the locals.

Such a declaration to the student body and college community may have prevented this lawsuit. But Ferdinand Protzman, the college’s chief of staff, who was at one of the meetings with David Gibson, told the jury during his testimony earlier in the trial why the school didn’t put out any statement.

“We told them we could not issue a statement saying they were not racist because we never said they were,” he said.

David Gibson said that he continued to hold out hope that they could reconcile the issue with the school, but that never came about after almost a full year of trying. The lawsuit was filed on Nov. 7, 2017

“If this was just a problem with students, I was confident I would have been able to talk with them and solve this,” Gibson said. “But when I could see that the college was directly involved, I knew this was going to be devastating.”

“Once I saw how this was being handled by [Dean of Students] Meredith Raimondo, I knew this was going to be more than just a local issue. It was going to become much more national and more public. And then I could see it was beginning to roll around on the internet as these things do.”

Gibson was asked by Plakas “Why didn’t you just give up, give Oberlin College what they want?”

He answered with a defiant tone: “I am not going to just give up this business over something like this. If we were to close the store right now, it would be telling everyone that there is something to this issue of us being called racist. I’m not going to let that happen.”

“This business has made it through many generations of our family, and we have always been open to helping and defending the rights of students and people of this town at all times,” the continued. “My father tells how even though the store was going through tough times in the Depression, they would keep it open to serve the poor people free food in the 1930s.”

He also told the jury how devastating the loss of business since the 2016 protests have been. Neither him, nor his family members have been paid for the past two years. Gibson’s employed 10-12 people before 2016, and 6-7 of those were full-time, 40 hour workers. Right now, David Gibson said, the company employs 6-7, and only one is full-time.

The business’s financial problems were detailed by CPA Frank Monaco yesterday, and his cross-examination was completed in testimony this morning. Most of the dispute by the defense attorney was how monetary loss that Monaco detailed in his report was arrived at. Thus, the jury heard four hours about interest rates, inherent risk, value calculations, the time value of money, and how all were inconsistent economic variables. David Gibson did confirm later that he gave Monaco his and the business’s tax returns and that the accountant figured out most of his calculations by looking at tax filings and adding up the numbers.

By the end of his time testifying today, Gibson seemed tired of explaining to the jury how much money his business had been losing since the students’ protests, and thought of how all this affected his father. The 90-year-old Allyn W. Gibson was known as a very positive and outgoing Oberlin icon in the past, but had an accident in May of 2017 where his neck was broken as he reacted to a very late night pounding on his home’s windows. Police never found out who was doing the pounding, but Allyn D. Gibson did slip and fall on the concrete near his doorway.

[Allyn W. Gibson outside courtroom]{Photo Daniel McGraw for Legal Insurrection Foundation]

Since then, he cannot work any more at Gibson’s (he was delivering food to the Oberlin College cafeteria at 6 a.m. on the day of the protest), but still does like to sit outside in the warm weather and talk to children and patrons of the store.

David Gibson says even that has changed.

“My dad would sit around outside at the tables we put out, and children would gather around him and he’d tell stories about all sort of things and the history of this area,” David Gibson says. “He would always be smiling and having fun doing this.”

“Now, he sometimes sits outside by himself. For whatever reason, what happened before with him talking to so many people, just isn’t happening any more. It’s very sad to see.”

Court will be adjourned tomorrow (Wednesday), as Judge John R. Miraldi has a previously scheduled commitment. David Gibson will be cross-examined by the defense on Thursday, and Oberlin College will begin to present their own evidence on Friday.

Daniel McGraw is a freelance writer and author in Lakewood, Ohio. Follow him on Twitter @danmcgraw1

WAJ adds: David Gibson’s testimony certainly puts in perspective the tone-deaf defense tactic of denigrating and belittling the bakery’s business, including claiming it’s worth only $35,000 (not much more than the cost of room, board and tuition for a single semester at Oberlin College). I don’t know how this case will turn out, and I’m not predicting. But it’s hard to believe the jury doesn’t feel for this family caught up in a social justice warfare firestorm they didn’t cause, and that consumed their multi-generational business and their good name.

————

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Comments

counsel4pay | May 21, 2019 at 9:10 pm

Super cool day:
1. First, we had convincing proof of “liability” days, with both direct testimony of multiple witnesses (including Oberlin students) and damning impeachment of the Dean of Students by Trey James. [Day 3 was memorable.]
2. Then, we had “damages” evidence, starting with “first person” testimony from competent family and staff of the Bakery.
3. Then we had “expert damages” testimony from an Ohio CPA.
4. NOW, THE “HUMAN TOUCH”, from the heart honesty by David, with sincere, and poignant glimpses into how this all impacted Allyn, the Patriarch. He looks like everyone’s favorite grandpa.

Today, David’s focus on the jury, talking to them, was appropriate and masterful. Long ago, in a multi-million dollar wrongful death and brain injury trial, we had a medical witness with world-class credentials. I was asking him questions, and he never even looked at me–he was focused on the JURY. He was engaged in a face to face dialogue with each member of the jury, letting them see his sincerity, his warmth, his grief at the injuries suffered. He later told me that he learned this “art of jury personalization” early in his career, and he had rarely failed to make his point. Years later, I was called as a witness in a traffic accident case, and I used his approach–it was a warm and memorable experience.

And, we have CLIMBED TO THE TOP OF THE LIABILITY LADDER! We have first person testimony of David meeting with the College PRESIDENT: “At his meeting with President Marvin Krislov at the school-provided mansion the president lived in, David Gibson explained to Krislov how his father had explained to him that he would have a hard time expunging being called a racist at his age.”

I can only look on, with admiration, at seeing plaintiff attorneys showing a level of competence I envy. Eight days; all the bases covered. [BUT, I expect Oberlin will be their own worst opponent. Good stuff on Cross-examination coming.]

Actually, according to this https://www.oberlin.edu/student-accounts/cost-calculator $35,000 is LESS than the cost of single semester at Oberlin, even waiving insurance and such-like.

    alaskabob in reply to slither. | May 21, 2019 at 9:49 pm

    Recovery will never ever happen as long as Oberlin College is in existence. It’s too small a town and the college will never step forward to “do the right thing”. Once the Gibsons win, they will have to sell the store to someone else and even then who would buy knowing the primary business in town are SJWs? Oberlin “wins” in the long run. To really win against Oberlin would require a huge financial hit and that isn’t going to happen. The Left trashes everything they touch. The very people who rant and rave about abuse of power are the very ones doing it.

      Terence G. Gain in reply to alaskabob. | May 21, 2019 at 10:01 pm

      I hate your loser negativity.

      artichoke in reply to alaskabob. | May 22, 2019 at 12:50 am

      Why not this scenario:

      (1) Jury awards $multimillion damages, penalties, etc.
      (2) Oberlin has to pay it.
      (3) If some students or others attack Gibson’s, they end up behind bars.

        Milhouse in reply to artichoke. | May 22, 2019 at 10:06 am

        Students who attack Gibson’s already end up behind bars, if they’re caught. That’s how we ended up here in the first place. But the problem is catching them. Whoever decided to harass old Mr Gibson in the middle of the night will never face charges, because nobody else knows who it was.

      HImmanuelson in reply to alaskabob. | May 22, 2019 at 1:05 am

      Oh, I think an injection of $8-$9 million will go a long, long way to shore up the store’s finances.

        Milhouse in reply to HImmanuelson. | May 22, 2019 at 10:09 am

        If the store is not running at a profit there’s no point in keeping it open, no matter how big an award they get. The same applies to the family’s real estate business; no matter how much compensation they get for the damage done by the boycott, if the boycott continues there won’t be any point in keeping the business running.

          JusticeDelivered in reply to Milhouse. | May 22, 2019 at 1:24 pm

          A settlement should require ongoing funds from Oberlin and their actively working to make Gibson whole. Ie, Oberlin doing whatever it takes, regardless of how expensive it is to bring their sales performance back to the original levels.

          Brave Sir Robbin in reply to Milhouse. | May 22, 2019 at 3:42 pm

          “A settlement should require ongoing funds from Oberlin and their actively working to make Gibson whole. Ie, Oberlin doing whatever it takes, regardless of how expensive it is to bring their sales performance back to the original levels.”

          That’s not how it works. Milhouse’s point is sound. Even if Gibson’s wins a large award – millions of dollars – there will be no reason to keep open a store that does not make money. I would assume the Gibson’s would try to turn things around for a while, but if not successful, they will close the store and not sink their award into a fruitless endeavor. So, whatever the award, it may be that Gibson’s, as a going concern, is doomed thanks to misguided social activism.

Is the current Oberlin president attending? I hope so — seeing how her new college behaved should be eye-opening for her.

Couple questions:

1) We’ve seen a lot of talk both from you guys and in the comment section about the $35k number. Has this actually been presented to the jury in any form yet?

2) How does the jury in general seem to be reacting to the plaintiff testimony? Favorable/unfavorable/indifferent?

    Lewfarge in reply to Olinser. | May 21, 2019 at 10:25 pm

    I reviewed the all of the summaries – does not appear to have been presented yet – “sources” say that the $35,000 is what Oberlin wants to try to establish as the value of the business.
    It would seem to me that if they actually try to do that it will seem like spitting in the faces of the Gibson family – MHO is that it would backfire big time.

      artichoke in reply to Lewfarge. | May 22, 2019 at 12:52 am

      Yes now after David’s very personal testimony, it would hurt Oberlin more to try to present a number like 35,000 .

    RodFC in reply to Olinser. | May 22, 2019 at 1:27 am

    it must be in there somewhere. The financial expert had already testified that it was extremely low.

    Joe-dallas in reply to Olinser. | May 22, 2019 at 9:34 am

    The $35k comes from report provided by Oberlin’s expert. Expert witnesses on both sides have to present their report prior to testimony. Secondly, the report would be available via discovery.

    One important point – both valuations by the experts are so far outside any basis in reality, that it surprises me that the judge allowed the Gibson expert to testify or will allow the Oberlin expert to testify. Neither report comes across as meeting Ohio’s equivilant of the daubert standard. (as a CPA, I do a fair amount of valuation work in the area of estate and gift, buy sell transations, divorce and business litigation, etc)

Wonderful work. Thank you.

Allegation of diversity is an ugly projection that has persisted as a politically congruent construct and myth.

George_Kaplan | May 21, 2019 at 10:54 pm

What is the maximum pain a jury might award? I’ve seen over $10 million mentioned, but does that mean slightly more, or substantially more?

Based on the evidence and testimony to date the college will need a miracle to avoid something close to the maximum IMHO.

    Gunstar1 in reply to George_Kaplan. | May 21, 2019 at 11:25 pm

    I think the max I have read was $17.4 million.

    maxmillion in reply to George_Kaplan. | May 21, 2019 at 11:28 pm

    That’s premature. The plaintiff just rested. They’re supposed to be ahead at this point and have everybody’s sympathies. If they didn’t, it’d mean serious trouble for them and their case. No, now the defense gets to present their side. Let’s see what evidence they have, and then go from there.

      Tom Servo in reply to maxmillion. | May 22, 2019 at 9:01 am

      I can preview the Defense’s case for you:

      ORANGEMAN BAD!
      RAYCISS!!!
      WE DINDU NUTTIN!!!

      your honor, the Defense rests.

Thanks for update and good comments. I fear that if Gibson prevails and wins a modest judgement, … what are the chances Oberlin appeals the judgement, how long would that take, and what are the odds. I hope the Gibson’s prevail modestly, and once they get their settlement, sell the store and kiss that SJW college goodbye.

    Another Voice in reply to RobM. | May 22, 2019 at 12:13 am

    Gibson was asked by Plakas “Why didn’t you just give up, give Oberlin College what they want?”

    I believe you misjudge the commitment of the owners; They did not and more than likely will not walk away. At this point, it’s not about the money, it is the damages that Oberlin has inflicted. The money only represents the magnitude of the damages.

    He answered with a defiant tone: “I am not going to just give up this business over something like this. If we were to close the store right now, it would be telling everyone that there is something to this issue of us being called racist. I’m not going to let that happen.” “This business has made it through many generations of our family, and we have always been open to helping and defending the rights of students and people of this town at all times,”

      Jackie in reply to Another Voice. | May 22, 2019 at 7:47 am

      He’s a lot stronger than I would be. Losing the school account had to be devastating. That probably covered most of operating expenses. If Oberlin agreed to make a statement that the bakery was not racist, and continued to buy from them, would Gibson’s agree to dropping charges? Gibson’s actually went easy on the shoplifters. If they wanted to play hardball they could have insisted the shoplifters be charged with assault. They let the charges be reduced because the students made a statement exonerating Gibson’s. What would the college do if the students were facing jail time?

      Jackie in reply to Another Voice. | May 22, 2019 at 7:47 am

      He’s a lot stronger than I would be. Losing the school account had to be devastating. That probably covered most of operating expenses. If Oberlin agreed to make a statement that the bakery was not racist, and continued to buy from them, would Gibson’s agree to dropping charges? Gibson’s actually went easy on the shoplifters. If they wanted to play hardball they could have insisted the shoplifters be charged with assault. They let the charges be reduced because the students made a statement exonerating Gibson’s. What would the college do if the students were facing jail time?

    Brave Sir Robbin in reply to RobM. | May 22, 2019 at 3:52 pm

    Appeals are very difficult to win. The award will attach a rate of interest that will accumulate during the appeals process that Oberlin will need to also pay if their appeal founders, which is likely barring some horrendous mistake by the Judge which I have yet to discern. I do not know what the rate of interest is in Ohio, but it is usually quick attractive to the recipient, far better than what one can expect from safe (CD, T-bill type) investment options. Also, appellant costs are usually higher than the counter-party’s costs as appellant has to present and pass initial motions, where most appeals fail. My take is the Gibsons are more concerned about reputation than actual money, so they will not be deterred by the prospect of the probably modest additional costs associated with a low probability of success appeal.

amatuerwrangler | May 21, 2019 at 11:48 pm

Over the weekend the reporter — Dan McGraw — wrote of a walk he took through the campus, engaging students about Gibson’s and the case. He noted that the students he spoke to did not patronize Gibson’s and said the reason was that “everyone knows they are racist” or words to that effect; he also noted that many of those students ere not students there at the time of the arrest and protests thereof.

It sounds like the anti-Gibson’s attitude among the students is rampant. And it has to come from somewhere since newer students are continuing the boycott. Are there fliers on dorm bulletin boards about this? Or ads in the college newspaper?

I have to wonder if the plaintiffs’ legal team is aware of this, and if they are, why has it not come in as evidence via testimony. I know Mr. McGraw [I keep wanting to type McGrew, as in Dangerous Dan McGrew of poetic fame] can’t be a witness at this point, but maybe the team could commission someone to take that same walk.

    slither in reply to amatuerwrangler. | May 22, 2019 at 10:04 am

    Yes, there clearly are efforts to continue the conflict. At the start of the school year, one of the Oberlin student newspapers had an article aimed at the incoming frosh telling them that being seen shopping at Gibson’s is one of worst social mistakes that they could make. And apparently the Student Council’s condemnation of Gibson’s was still posted. The college’s Department of Africana Studies posted an anti-Gibson message on their Facebook page, but it is hard to tell how visible it was.

    I am not a lawyer, but I think the issue about evidence is that such things have to be caused by Oberlin specifically before they will be allowed.

    Milhouse in reply to amatuerwrangler. | May 22, 2019 at 10:19 am

    Yes, the lies are being passed on from one generations of students to the next, and boycott is still going strong and still hurting. But so long as they’re being passed on by the students themselves and not by the college, it can only be the college’s responsibility if it’s all due to the lies it told the students back then. In other words, if the students who are now passing the lies on originally heard them from the college, then the college is liable for the damage now being caused. But if they heard them directly from the students who made them up in the first place, then it’s not the college’s responsibility, even if the college also told the same lies.

      JusticeDelivered in reply to Milhouse. | May 22, 2019 at 1:34 pm

      Which brings me back to my original contention that those individuals need to be sued and straddled with a debt which dwarfs typical student loans.

Unfortunately this trial will not expose the Oberlin students for being the race hustlers they are. A petition from the students supporting Gibson’s will go a long way in healing this problem. But I doubt Oberlin students have the backbone to do so. Perhaps the internet will now refer to the “race hustling Oberlin students”.

    Milhouse in reply to kjon. | May 22, 2019 at 10:21 am

    Oberlin students are not one entity. They’re individuals, some of whom are race hustling liars, some are gullible and believe the first ones’ lies, and some have nothing to do with this. A statement by some students doesn’t change anything about the others.

This testimony puts it all together for me . . . and confirms, it’s not just about the money.

Administrators from Oberlin could have done the right thing and (tried to) call off the race-baiting SJW’s, but they were cowards. Gibson family received financial pain from standing up for themselves and the penalty of calling the police on a thief (who may have at first, felt a bit entitled, but later admitted his fault).

Based on Oberlin administrators’ holier-than-thou (or at least Gibson’s) perspective, . . they made it worse by not standing up to their in-need-of-education customers. Supporting the mob.

Somewhere between $35k and $5.8mm. The jury will decide, and if the case was tried right and the $$$##’s aren’t too ridiculous, Oberlin may settle and not appeal.

Hoping there are some lessons learned,

Signed,
an Oberlin parent.

    Joe-dallas in reply to Yuckster. | May 22, 2019 at 9:51 am

    Yuckster – curious what kind of job prospects are you expecting for your child?
    What is your child’s major?

    The Oberlin website shows 56 majors. Of those, only 9 are in a field considered a hard science,
    bio chemistry
    biology
    chemistry
    computer science
    economics (while not a hard science)
    engineering
    geology
    mathematics
    physics

    Most if not all the other majors, have little or no value or add very little that would enhance critical thinking or potential job skills

      Tom Servo in reply to Joe-dallas. | May 22, 2019 at 10:10 am

      Most Oberlin students only need “Spending Daddy’s Money” skills. Jobs? pffft.

      Yuckster in reply to Joe-dallas. | May 22, 2019 at 3:45 pm

      Says he want to major in “Classics,” but I wouldn’t be surprised if that changes. He’s already smart . . . and he needs to keep being tested. He’s terrific with kids (an Eagle Scout who has “Den Chief’d many, many Cub Scout dens) and has great leadership skills – Sr. Patrol Leader several times.

      He has been super-successful in sales of Boy Scout popcorn (top 10 in country for 5 straight years) and also thinks he may want to work in some kind of sales job. Yes, critical thinking and the ability to assess different points-of-view and detect bullshit. That’s a useful skill in any field and Oberlin seems like as good a place as any.

      The fact is that almost every “good” school, populated with smart students, is filled with this “progressive drivel”. We can only hope, there is free speech and your/our children find some value in separating the useful from the crap. Again, the news media and the internet finds the extremes and sells clicks and eyeball counts based on them.

      Just because 50 ~ 100 SJW’s show up for the ’cause-de-jour on a given day/night, doesn’t mean the entire campus agrees. Kids are super-impressionable; they are learning robots. One would hope, that their guidance from faculty & administrators is a bit more seasoned and circumspect. After this debacle, it just might be.

        amatuerwrangler in reply to Yuckster. | May 22, 2019 at 10:25 pm

        Yukster: You know the kid better than I do, for sure, but with all due respect, you should take a look at that list of 9 majors Joe posted and make an attempt to steer your son in that direction. The underlying idea of college is to prepare one for a productive and rewarding life. Unless he wants to teach, “Classics” might not do the trick.

        You mention sales, maybe, and that’s fine. I know people educated as engineers who sell the stuff they are trained to build: cranes, electric motors, machine tools. They use their knowledge to help buyers get the right thing the first time.

        He will need something to blunt the fact that Oberlin is the source of his degree. And here ends my nickel’s-worth of free advice.

        artichoke in reply to Yuckster. | May 25, 2019 at 12:29 pm

        I don’t have a lot of confidence in faculty and administrators there. They seem to be promoting the conflagration and fanning the flames.

        As for the students, the revelation that stealing from Gibson’s and other places was so common will hurt the reputation of Oberlin grads. Without telling his classmates I’d advise him to push his Boy Scout credentials hard when dealing with potential employers — to say he’s not like most of the students.

to Yuckster: WHY are you an “Oberlin parent”. ?

    slither in reply to sdharms. | May 22, 2019 at 10:12 am

    Hey, there’s no need to jump on Yuckster! When I was young I applied (and was accepted) to Oberlin because it had the reputation of being one of the best liberal-arts colleges in the country. Also, their Conservatory of Music has a good reputation.

    As this lawsuit shows, reputations are slow to change and I’m sure that many high-schools still tell much the same to their students. When things like this happen at a school parents often are shocked because they had no idea what the place was actually like.

    Milhouse in reply to sdharms. | May 22, 2019 at 10:26 am

    Where is it better?

    artichoke in reply to sdharms. | May 25, 2019 at 12:30 pm

    The college admissions process these days is crazy and hardly anywhere is a safe admit for most kids, including or especially the finest young men and women. One has to take what admissions offices give and make the best of it.

My guess is that the hard science students are not involved in this at all. A number of majors have always been known as professional rabble rousers since at least the end of WWII and the encroachment of post war socialism. I can recall one clown in particular who spent all 4 years telling everyone that he was a socialist, whatever that meant. So it is likely an issue being driven by a core of 300 students. Keep in mind that the whole Nazi party was only a small percentage of Germans, and that most Germans simply went along with them as it was easier in the short term, until it wasn’t, and then it was too late.

So think about the average reasonable Oberlin student, the 90%, and how they would approach this. You have an out of control mob that has been attacking Gibsons relentlessly. How many individual students would stand up to them, and how many of those individuals would risk the early days of being socially ostracized in order to organize? If they are attacked, their only recourse is to complain to Raimando? Yeah, right, let me get right on that. Without an adult in the room, the college is pretty much lost at this point, because the cancerous element is not being challenged. As I have mentioned before, the only resolution to this is through the alumni. I would hope that not many of them would react positively to this. Sure, most of them are fairly serious liberals, but this really isn’t about that. It is about lies and a complete loss of credibility as a means to achieve a goal, which at some point a smart person will ask, “is this a goal worth achieving.” The alumni will be coming to town this weekend and it will now be hard to keep a cap on it. Hopefully a good number of them will ask WTF is going on and will not be satisifed with the answer “Gibsons is raciss” because they both remember and know better. This all ties back in to the national news blackout. If Oberlin were on the right side, this case would be trumpeted from the rooftops. But some of them know that they aren’t, and it has gotten to the part where no amount of damage control is going to be without significant cost, so let’s be as quiet as possible and try to keep it within the town limits. I think as far back as December 2016 I likened this to an episode of Fawlty Towers, and not in a good way.

    Brave Sir Robbin in reply to MajorWood. | May 22, 2019 at 9:13 pm

    “Keep in mind that the whole Nazi party was only a small percentage of Germans”

    If you call about 37% of voters in the 1930 election a “small percentage,” you are correct. However, I would not classify that as a small percentage myself. NAZI party membership was about 8.5 million, or about 25% of voters affiliated with a political party. The NAZI party was the largest political party in close to 80% of the country before WWII. They were a minority, but the largest minority with none others holding a majority. Hitler came to power via a coalition arrangement with other parties to form a majority as is common in parliamentary systems. Another ruling coalition could have theoretically been formed, so certain other parties were not squeamish about rubbing shoulders and elbows with the NAZIs. Therefore, Hitler and the NAZIs had majority support in Germany prior to WWII.

      Brave Sir Robbin in reply to Brave Sir Robbin. | May 22, 2019 at 9:16 pm

      “about 25% of voters affiliated with a political party.”

      Sorry, that should have read “about 25% of the voting age population”.

I am very impressed by Gibson’s attorneys–can’t wait to see how Oberlin counters their case.

I am also stunned at the sheer meanness exhibited by Raimondo and the former Oberlin President. They continued to try to ruin this family’s livelihood and reputation because they refused to report alleged shoplifters to the college rather than refer them to the proper authorities; and wouldn’t knuckle under to the college.

I don’t know how tone deaf anyone can be when they’re in public passing out flyers that say Gibson’s has a history of being racist while at the same time refusing to issue a statement to the contrary, because it was the students causing the problem and not the college itself.

Damn right the alumni are coming to campus this weekend, and I’ll be among them. I’ve been following the Gibson’s case since Day 1, and my anger over Oberlin’s attitude continues to grow as the trial progresses. Though I’ve been a generous contributor in the past, Oberlin will not get another penny out of me until the Gibsons’ good name and reputation are restored, not to mention monetary compensation for all the losses they are suffering now and in the future. My hat’s off to Allyn W., David and Allyn D. Gibson. If anyone is showing class in this case, it’s those three, not Oberlin. 

My husband, another Oberlin grad (in math!) suggested we start an alumni organization known as D.O.A.–Disgruntled Oberlin Alumni–in the hopes that the college itself becomes DOA. Forty years ago in the dining room of the Oberlin Inn various prints were hanging on the walls. They were all Oberlin sayings. My favorite was “There will be no drones in this hive of industry.” The loudest noises coming from Oberlin students is the buzzing of prideful drones.

    artichoke in reply to SNAB. | May 25, 2019 at 12:44 pm

    I agree. It used to be a nationally well respected college, much better than what’s happening there now.

I tried to post about this trial on Inside Higher Education, and I don’t think it ever appeared. They don’t censor much, but they censored this.

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