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An Oberlin College Alumnus at the Memorial Service for David Gibson

An Oberlin College Alumnus at the Memorial Service for David Gibson

Guest post by a Legal Insurrection reader who attended the Memorial Service for David Gibson of Gibson’s Bakery.

I am known to people who read Legal Insurrection as JD Nobody. The reason for my name is that by being Nobody anyone can hide behind saying Nobody told me. I am not a lawyer but have often hung out with lawyers and have enjoyed “thinking outside the box” with them.

My connection to Oberlin College is as a third-generation alumnus from the class of 1961.

Having made many trips to Oberlin since graduating, I am moderately familiar with what is going on inside the Oberlin bubble, yet still well connected to the world outside the bubble. During this time, I never knew the Gibsons but knew of their excellent reputation.

I stumbled on Legal insurrection by accident while looking for the College’s Frequently Asked Questions about the Gibsons v Oberlin verdict. These questions allegedly “explained” what had happened. I became progressively more outraged at the whitewashes the College was trying to sell as I read LI’s coverage and looked at the evidence introduced in court. My outrage quickly extended to anger on behalf of the Gibsons and disgust that my college would behave so idiotically.

JD Nobody never had the opportunity to meet Dave Gibson. Still, it didn’t take long to learn what a decent and exceptional person Dave was and to see that Oberlin College’s actions toward Dave and the Gibson family were sick beyond words.

[David Gibson video: Thank you for your support]

When I was getting moving on the morning of my 80th birthday, I received word from a friend that Dave Gibson had passed away earlier that morning. Not the best way to celebrate the 80th birthday. Dave had passed on at close to the same time of day that I was born 80 years earlier.

The well-attended visiting hours for David Gibson were held in Oberlin’s 177-year-old Meeting House (aka First Church). [See Featured Image]

It is easy to miss the symbolic importance of remembering Dave in this venue.

The Meeting House was a National focal point for many anti-slavery events before the outbreak of the Civil War. Slave catchers came to Oberlin in 1858, captured an escaped slave, and headed South, stopping 9 miles from Oberlin in Wellington for the night. Many people from the Meeting House headed to Wellington, took the slave from his captors, and returned to Oberlin in celebration.

In a way, the legal case was a modern Wellington Rescue — this time to rescue the Gibsons.

JD Nobody was gratified to see the outpouring of sympathy and condolences to the Gibson family and to hear the words of appreciation which my website, Oberlin In Chaos, has received for its effort to bring decent treatment to the Gibson family.

[Photo courtesy Legal Insurrection reader JD Nobody]

The College did make one gesture, though, toward the Gibsons. It asked college employees not to park in the college parking lot next to the Meeting House during the Gibson Memorial Service.

There was a large, racially mixed turnout for Dave Gibson’s Memorial Service. Attendees from the College were few, none of whom were the people slandering the Gibsons.

The Memorial Service lasted two hours because many people came forward to pay tribute to David Gibson. One of the more important tributes was from Eddie, who is black and has been a lifelong friend of David’s. Allyn D Gibson spoke during the service about his relationship with his father and was broken up by the loss.

After the Memorial Service, a Gibson family member told me that they are enormously grateful for the support from Bill Jacobson and LI. I learned that in David’s last days, the family read him some of the LI posts written by myself and others. These posts bucked up Dave’s spirits in a time of little hope. Those of you who posted on Dave’s behalf can take credit for doing a good deed that you did not realize you were doing.

There was a time at Oberlin College when there was an atmosphere of graciousness and decency. That began to fade over 50 years ago after discarding formal dining in favor of a more cost-effective but sterile cafeteria setting. The current dining environment is somewhat better than that provided to an average herd of hogs. There is a connection between graciousness and decency that is not on Oberlin’s radar today.


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Thank for the report. I sympathize with the loss of your once fine institution. It is not an uncommon situation. While current Oberlin leadership seems to be one of the more egregious examples of the sick and twisted “progressives” in control of a university they are not the only ones.

A little late, but Happy Birthday!

the once proud & glorious music program of oberlin is overshadowed by what sacred scripture declares in the magnificat: “He has scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
and has exalted the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich He has sent away empty.”

if only the oberlin crowd knew how truly “empty” they are…

Thank you for this post, JD Nobody.

Thank you for the update on the memorial JD.

Thanks for the update. I, too, remember when Oberlin had a much better reputation.

Barry, I’m going to open with this thought, and I will close with it.

“I sympathize with the loss of your once fine institution. It is not an uncommon situation.”

If I ran through the list of all the institutions I have lost we’d be here until New Year’s Day. And Lord knows that some of them still exist. A fighting ship with a good crew comes to mind.

But I’m going to mention the one institution you can always count on. Family.

I was discussing a sensitive subject with my sister the other day. Please, nobody freak out. She did, at first. I was mentioning it only as a reason why it isn’t an option for me. But unfortunately too many of our Sailors, Marines, Soldiers, Airmen, and Coasties choose suicide.

As an officer, as a leader of men, the first thing you have to keep in mind is that you are not dealing with weak men (this also includes women). They are serious men dealing with serious issues.

So, what are your problems? How many people will be hurt if you make the wrong decision?

I have been through many a Dark Night of the Soul, so I’ve run through this inventory countless times.

And what is the way out? There is always a way out. It might be prison. But prison is better than killing yourself.

I spent twenty years in the Navy. I know a lot about prisons.

Maybe you don’t care about God. Maybe you don’t think God exists. But your family does. Maybe your dad abused you. But did everyone in your family? Is there not anyone you care about?

The point being is that I used to be able to talk people out of suicide. And trust me, drilling holes in the Indian Ocean can drive just about anybody to suicide.

Right after the Navy legalized homosexuality. I learned this from my JAG. “Oh, you’re gay? Show me your wallet, Mr. Gay Man. Oh, here’s a lot of pictures of your girl friend.”

But the suicide threats I didn’t take as a joke. And this is the season for committing suicide, so if you are in a leadership or managerial position, or hell if you are just a friend, if you see someone who looks like they are struggling, show that you care.

    RandomCrank in reply to Arminius. | December 1, 2019 at 12:57 pm

    “Right after the Navy legalized homosexuality. I learned this from my JAG. ‘Oh, you’re gay? Show me your wallet, Mr. Gay Man. Oh, here’s a lot of pictures of your girl friend.’ ”


    I’m gay (and have skin as thick as a rhino hide, so I won’t melt) and have no idea what that meant. The hypothetical convo would make sense if it were to occur during the DADT days or earlier, and a malingerer were trying to get a discharge from the service by confessing his homosexuality. But you placed it after “legalization,” so it doesn’t compute.

      Tom Servo in reply to RandomCrank. | December 1, 2019 at 4:07 pm

      I believe that the increase in suicide rates has much more to do with the falling away from religious faith for so many. If you don’t believe in a God who cares about you, you’ve got no reason to stick around once life gets hard to bear.

      I’ve seen it put elsewhere – 1.Happy 2. Atheist 3. Elderly

      you get to pick 2 out of the three.

Thanks for the post. I became an LI fan after stumbling over its coverage of the Oberlin fiasco.

I’m not as conservative as this site or its commenters, but am somewhere near the 40-yard line on the current right/left perspective. I have always been a Hugo Black absolutist about freedom of speech, and am continually outraged at its violation of campuses by the “woke.”

I am also a former professional journalist who’s as upset as anyone out there about the ongoing destruction of the objectivity-seeking model that took root during the Civil War and flourished in the 20th century. So, while I’m a free speech absolutist, I am no friend of libel, which is what Oberlin committed, nor am I any friend of the college’s various knife twists that accompanied it.

I’m very glad to know that the Gibsons appreciated the coverage from LI, and the sentiments of non-Oberlinians (is that a word?) who have been on their side. I have been a vociferous critic of Oberlin in various places online, and offered words of support via e-mail as well.

The older I get, the more I am inclined to believe in the one-on-one, i.e., the ability of individuals to break through the noise and make a positive difference. This would be one such case, and it makes me happy to know that my own words, and those of others, brought comfort to the Gibsons during their darker hours.

My earlier comment seems to have disappeared.

I think my point was lost on you. I don’t care that you are gay.

My cousin is a lesbian. And I love her to death. Literally, as I can’t imagine a heaven that doesn’t include her.

Honestly, and you wouldn’t know this from “Will and Grace,” I don’t know any gay people. It’s not that I go out of my way to avoid them. I didn’t go see “Straightback Mountan” because it sounded like a lousy movie.

When I watch cowboy movies I expect gunfire with real no-s***t Colt .45 Peacemakers.

Except it is a transition movie with Colt 1911s. Like “The Wild Bunch.”

Sorry if I offended you. The thing is, I rarely mean to offend people. Only if I mean to, which may explain why I’m severely crippled.

Every hit I took on the Rugby field, I’m feeling.

    RandomCrank in reply to Arminius. | December 1, 2019 at 10:29 pm

    Why would I have been offended?

    As for “Brokeback Mountain,” I’m old enough and Eastern enough for part of my life to have been a subscriber to the New Yorker’s print edition when magazines were actually in print. So I read the original story in the New Yorker before it became a book and then a movie.

    Parts rang true, and other parts didn’t. That’s how movies and stories go, or as I once told a cop friend when he complained about Law & Order: “It’s fiction, not a documentary, fer chrissakes.”

    To me, “Brokeback Mountain” used the same-sex angle to get at something deeper: the downside of the frontier masculine ethic. Now, don’t think I’m a 72-genders SJW. I’m just someone who looks at any basic character or social trait and sees it from various angles.

    Here you have one guy, played by Heath Ledger: proud, brave, masculine, determined, having been trained to shut off any emotional depth in what, the third or fourth grade? It’s obvious to the reader, or the viewer, how stunted and constrained he is. His counterpart, (mis)cast as Jake Gyllenhall offers him a way out, but he can’t escape his mental prison. He winds up sniffing a shirt and crying, and pondering his own human failings: specifically, cowardice and stupidity.

    That story has been told in myriad ways. I gave the print version a 6 on a scale of 10, and the film version an 8 on a scale of 10. The critics and the peanut gallery got a 2 on a scale of 10. The homosexual angle was nothing more than a vehicle to examine something else. Now: Where were we again?

This may seem at odds with what I said earlier. Hate is an expensive emotion. I tried it. I can’t afford it. No one can. Also it clouds the mind.

I too am an Oberlin graduate, class of 1961, just turned 80. The coverage of the Gibson case at LI has been very clear and complete. I regret the damage that Oberlin’s administration has done to the college from the very beginning.

    Hey, Roland, I’m glad to see that a fellow L-Section buddy is also on the case of the college. Check out my unpublished blog on the topic, it pulls no punches.

    My hot button has been the negligence of the board of trustees in allowing all this mess to happen. The BOT is meeting this week, and all of us need to put pressure on them to become more responsible.

    Be advised that all correspondence to the board of trustees is routed through the office of the College secretary and legal counsel. That office is the prime suspect in creating and perpetuating the Gibson’s bakery insanity. I have been told that their job is to “filter” the communications to the board.

    Having met the president of the college, she is a very nice competent and likable person when she is not operating in warp speed motormouth mode trying to talk the Gibson’s problem under the table.

    I am currently in San Luis Obispo California and I anticipate being in Oberlin this coming Friday. If the opportunity presents itself I just might be able to put a thumbtack or two on the chairs of a few board members.

    Now you can say Nobody told you!

The SJWs who rule Oberlin College have been defeated, but not destroyed. Oberlin alumnus should organize to put pressure on Oberlin by stopping all gifts to the college.

Anacleto Mitraglia | December 2, 2019 at 1:21 am

Just out of curiosity: were you an Oberlin city resident, at the time, a commuter from somewhere not so far, or a student from another State / region?