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David Gibson on Oberlin College verdict: Kept fighting so his father didn’t “die being labeled as a racist”

David Gibson on Oberlin College verdict: Kept fighting so his father didn’t “die being labeled as a racist”

91-year-old Allyn W. Gibson: “In my life, I’ve done everything I could to treat all people with dignity and respect. And now, nearing the end of my life, I’m going to die being labeled as a racist.”

The massive compensatory and punitive damage verdicts against Oberlin College and in favor of Gibson’s Bakery and it’s owners 91-year-old Allyn W. Gibson and his son David Gibson, have captured substantial attention.

Almost none of that attention has been favorable to Oberlin College, with withering Op-Eds eviscerating Oberlin College and its social justice warfare gone mad.

[Gibson Family and legal team after punitive damages verdict][Photo credit Bob Perkoski for Legal Insurrection Foundation]

George Will in The Washington Post wrote, Oberlin College had an admirable liberal past. Now, it’s a disgrace.

Oberlin College has an admirable liberal past and a contemptible progressive present that will devalue its degrees far into the future. This is condign punishment for the college’s mendacity about helping to incite a mob mentality and collective bullying in response to “racist” behavior that never happened….

Oberlin’s president defiantly says “none of this will sway us from our core values.” Those values — moral arrogance, ideology-induced prejudgments, indifference to evidence — are, to continue using the progressive patois, the root causes of Oberlin’s descent beyond caricature and into disgrace.

Mark Weaver in the Akron Beacon Journal, Echoes of McCarthyism in Oberlin:

By overstating the problem and overplaying his hand, [Joseph McCarthy] overlooked the need to be responsible with a topic as sensitive and weighty as Communist infiltration. His credibility collapsed like a bad alibi.

History may have arranged a similar pivot point to coincide with the anniversary of that incident. Last week, jurors in nearby Lorain County rebuffed a different kind of attempt to exploit a serious issue – racism. And it was Oberlin College called to account….

The moment [of he Gibson’s verdict] feels historic. It’s as if the jurors turned to college officials and their student cohorts and asked: “Have you no decency?”

The Editorial Board of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Oberlin run amok: After student crimes, college attacks the victims:

Oberlin is at a crossroads. It must take stock and correct course — no more political correctness for the sake of appearances or image, no more defense of student misbehavior. The college must admit that it erred and that the owners of the bakery acted as any business owners would under similar circumstances. More shenanigans like this could put Oberlin out of business at a time when so many liberal-arts schools are struggling to fill their classrooms.

That’s what happened to Antioch College, also once a distinguished Ohio liberal arts school. It was overcome with unthinking and fashionable leftist radicalism and it made itself a joke. Now it is a pale shadow of its former self. Is this the route Oberlin would like to go?

There is no evidence that Oberlin is ready to “take stock and correct course,” as Editorial Board of the Pittburgh Post-Gazette suggested it do to avoid going the way of Antioch College. As we have written, Oberlin College is doubling and tripling down on portraying itself as the victim, blaming as it has in past incidents, the media.

The college has launched a public relations campaign, Oberlin College issues FAQs on Gibson’s Bakery Verdict: “Did the College defame or libel the Gibsons? No”, and is holding conference calls and forums with faculty, staff and alumni, including one scheduled for next week.

The Gibsons have been fairly quiet after the verdict, other than some brief courthouse statements immediately after the verdict.

That has changed. David Gibson has an Op-Ed in USA Today, in which he explains what his family went through, Gibson’s Bakery paid a high cost for an unfairly damaged reputation. Read the whole thing, of course, but here’s an excerpt:

A business is only as strong as its reputation.

For more than 130 years, this principle served my family well. We own and operate Gibson’s Bakery in the City of Oberlin, Ohio — home to Oberlin College. Over that time, we have worked hard to build a reputation on our homemade baked goods, candy and ice cream, and on our commitment to our community….

On Nov. 9, 2016, a student attempted to shoplift two bottles of wine from our store. Unfortunately, theft is all too common at Gibson’s Bakery. Like many small businesses in Oberlin, our employees have caught plenty of shoplifters over the years — many of them students….

Despite the lack of any evidence, our family was accused of a long history of racism and discrimination. Oberlin College officials ordered the suspension of the more than 100-year business relationship with our bakery, and our customers dwindled. We were officially on trial — not in a courtroom, but in the court of public opinion. And we were losing….

As time went on, the truth began to emerge. The shoplifter confessed to his crime and said the arrest wasn’t racially motivated. But Oberlin College refused to help set the record straight by issuing a public statement that our family is not racist and does not have a history of racial profiling or discrimination.

The damage had been done. And the truth seemed irrelevant. In a small city like Oberlin, having the largest business and employer against you is more than enough to seal your fate….

[Allyn W. Gibson at trial][Photo credit Bob Perkoski for Legal Insurrection Foundation]

He then discussed how his father’s reputation motivated him to keep fighting:

As the extended legal battle dragged on, many asked why I didn’t just quit. Wouldn’t it be easier to close up shop and move on?

What few understand is that this situation not only affected our business; it touched every aspect of our lives.

In the end, the words of my father inspired me to continue the fight. He said, “In my life, I’ve done everything I could to treat all people with dignity and respect. And now, nearing the end of my life, I’m going to die being labeled as a racist.”

There wasn’t enough time, he feared, to set the record straight. His legacy had been tarnished and he felt powerless to stop it. I had to see this case through.

This experience has taught me that reputations are a fragile thing. They take a lifetime to build, but only moments to destroy.

Very eloquent. But it appears it will fall on many deaf ears at Oberlin College.

[Featured Image: David Gibson and Allyn W. Gibson at trial][Photo credit Bob Perkoski for Legal Insurrection Foundation]

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Comments

Mr. Gibson will someday die proud …. and rich.

LukeHandCool | June 21, 2019 at 5:32 pm

Poetic justice that a bakery defeats the fascist SJW mob.

You say, “Bake the cake!”

I say, “Cut the check, bigots!”

    Yeah, political congruence (“=”) is a bit of sanctimonious hypocrisy by its nature. Although, to a Pro-Choicer… And the transgender spectrum (“rainbow”) is pale image of what it was purported to represent. Here’s to progress.

I have lived in the South my whole life, 70 years. Just my accent makes me a racist in this day and time despite the fact that I have treated all around me the same regardless of any difference they may have. Now, admitting that you are color blind is enough for an individual to be called racist. In the end I really don’t give a flip what other people think or the names I might be called. I feel we are in a civil war and don’t expect a good ending.

    Songsparrow in reply to david7134. | June 21, 2019 at 6:16 pm

    This is so sad, that you are treated that way.

    Mac45 in reply to david7134. | June 21, 2019 at 6:23 pm

    Let me give you an anecdotal illustration of what it means to be a resident of the South in the 1990s.

    Around 1990, my wife, my two young boys and myself were on the Metro in DC. Three older black ladies got on the train and two of them could not find seats. My older boy and myself gave up our seats to the two ladies. Not something which should have been unexpected. But, a woman sitting next to my wife turned to the woman sitting next to her and said, “They must be from the South”. Take from that what you will.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to david7134. | June 21, 2019 at 9:15 pm

    I understand, and I think that many people in the north developed opinions based on people from the south who came north for factory jobs. Those people were not representative of people from the south, in that they were generally not educated or especially successful while they lived in the south. I suspect that few successful southerners moved north.

AlexanderYpsilantis | June 21, 2019 at 5:45 pm

Poetic Justice-and Oberlin College leadership better recognize that the vast majority of the public-including many progressives-supports this verdict for Gibson’s Bakery. Oberlin College was clearly in the wrong-terribly wrong-and further challenging this verdict may-and should-result in an INCREASE in damages rather than a reduction. Because Oberlin Colleges leadership doesn’t get it yet. They will.

Ms. Ambar’s legal analysis of this case, in her FAQ’s, is embarrassing to the legal profession and to whatever university awarded her a legal degree.

No one should be labeled a diversitist without at least three independent witnesses of having indulged in color judgements.

The warlock trial is over. And now the hunters will be dunked. Social justice was defeated. Justice, less penumbras and emanations (“twilight fringe”), prevails.

Songsparrow | June 21, 2019 at 6:14 pm

Beautiful writing by David Gibson. Note the honest quiet tone, without malice. I grew up near Oberlin, and we often visited Gibson’s when I was a child…. I still remember Grandpa Gibson and his sweet cheery smile. Of course he was much younger then! But it made an impression on you as a child. You felt your community was safe, the world was safe; and the man behind the counter included you in that big good world.

You couldn’t ask for kindlier people. It pains me to the heart what they have had to go through. Please support them at their online store:

Shop | Gibson’s Bakery and Candy
https://www.gibsonsbakeryandcandy.com/shop

Besides sweet things, they have Gibson’s t-shirts and extremely classy ball caps as well!!

    Songsparrow in reply to Songsparrow. | June 21, 2019 at 10:28 pm

    Here is the message I received from Gibson’s today:

    *****

    Thank you for your email, your kind words, and for sharing your letter with us.

    It has been a tumultuous few years, and we still have a journey to complete.

    The jury may have delivered its verdict, but the court case is not completely over.

    Once justice has been served and the court case fully concluded, a community needs our help to be restored, and our business needs to be rebuilt.

    But the knowledge that we have people like you on our side, is reassuring and comforting.

    Thanks again for taking time to put the Gibson family and Bakery in your thoughts.

    Take Care

OwenKellogg-Engineer | June 21, 2019 at 6:20 pm

“A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, Find favor rather than silver and gold.”

Sociopaths never accept defeat. If you do not submit, they will work to destroy you. Also, they will never accept any responsibility for any bad outcome.

Oberlin will fight to destroy the Gibsons and they will continue to blame the jury. They will not stop. SJWs = sociopaths/bullies.

Another great article:
Oberlin and the Price of Wokeness – spiked
https://www.spiked-online.com/2019/06/18/oberlin-and-the-price-of-wokeness/

from the article:

“And, in the Oberlin controversy, I have to ask: where were the students who disagreed with the administration and activist students, and supported the bakery? This silent majority has got to stop being silent. There should have been a big pro-Gibson’s movement among students, which would have had great potential for success. They would have not only had the facts on their side – they could also have forged a strong multi-racial alliance with town people. It was a missed opportunity to start the kind of real cultural fightback that is needed – although it is still not too late.”

Another great article:
Oberlin and the Price of Wokeness – spiked
https://www.spiked-online.com/2019/06/18/oberlin-and-the-price-of-wokeness/

from the article:

“And, in the Oberlin controversy, I have to ask: where were the students who disagreed with the administration and activist students, and supported the bakery? This silent majority has got to stop being silent. There should have been a big pro-Gibson’s movement among students, which would have had great potential for success. They would have not only had the facts on their side – they could also have forged a strong multi-racial alliance with town people. It was a missed opportunity to start the kind of real cultural fightback that is needed – although it is still not too late.”

    I think the writer knows better and understands full well what would befall any students publicly demonstrating in favor of racial discrimination. (Because that’s how the woke students would portray it, and God have mercy if they put that into the media and gave out names.)

The students and/or faculty who disagreed with the events in fron of Gibsons remained silent for a good reason. They didn’t want the same thing in front of their dorm rooms or faculty offices. Oberlin College has done an excellent job of exposing just how socialists will run the country if they ever get in control. They become judge and jury, persecutor and prosecutor. I wonder if they were surprised that the other side was allowed to present a case. That didn’t seem to be how it worked in Raimondo’s court system.

We really need a “Downfall” parody of this. And what amazes me even more is that Oberlin hasn’t even woken up to the fact that they are becoming PC outcasts by having made the general public aware of their shenanigans. Seriously, who is driving the continued narrative? And will the President and Head of the Board even have their jobs by the time of the Conference Call.

For those who haven’t seen it, this parody of Oberlin students is quite humorous:

Oberlin choir responds to the Christina Sommers controversy
“If I ever meet the real world”
https://youtu.be/fxCSy7tpUME

What a wonderful son!
May God richly bless this family!

They actually make Portland millenials look normal. =8*O

    Silvertree in reply to NGDGU. | June 22, 2019 at 2:56 pm

    Amazing with what blithe nonchalance she speaks….. and she’s still insisting Oberlin is being punished for the free speech of its students! No, Oberlin, this is all about you.

Fascinating podcast discussion of the Oberlin situation!
John Podhoretz, Jonah Goldberg, Rob Long

Oberlin is the topic
from 21:05-36:05
(press on the blue bar to move the tape to where you want it)

The Weirdest GLoP Ever | Ricochet
https://ricochet.com/podcast/goldberg-long-podhoretz/the-weirdest-glop-ever/

She should change her name to Cleopatra because she is the current Queen of Denial.

I’m glad that it worked out so well for the Gibsons, but it’s a little frustrating how difficult it is to break this notion that people should be concerned about being called “racist.” It’s clear now that it just means that the left doesn’t like what you’re doing and wants to threaten you with social opprobrium if you don’t submit to them. If anyone should know how meaningless the left’s accusations of “racism” are, it should be the Gibsons.

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