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Oberlin College – Gibson’s Bakery Tag

With Gibson Bros. v. Oberlin College scheduled to start trial this week, there is much back and forth among political and legal analysts as to “what it is” and “what it is not.” For the most part, regardless of the political leanings of the various parties observing from the outside, this is still a basic tort law case involving libel and defamation.

Oberlin College President Carmen Twillie Ambar send an email to the college community on August 23, 2018, followed by a similar email to alumni, regarding faculty sexual misconduct. The situation presented was stark: The college received "several" accusations of faculty sexual misconduct from alumni, leading certain faculty members to resign rather than participate in an investigation.

We previously covered the lawsuit brought by the local Gibson's Bakery against Oberlin College and its Dean of Students, Meredith Raimondo. The lawsuit arises out of accusations by Oberlin College students, allegedly assisted by Raimondo and others at the college, that Gibson's was racist and engaged in racial profiling after the arrest of three black Oberlin College students for shoplifting. Protests outside Gibson's ensued, as did a boycott of Gibson's by students and the college.

Oberlin College attempted to subpoena the communications of WAJ Media LLC (dba Legal Insurrection) with sources regarding our reporting on an Ohio lawsuit by Gibson's Bakery of Oberlin, Ohio, against Oberlin College and its Dean of Students, Meredith Raimondo. The subpoena specifically sought our communications with the attorneys for Gibson's, who had provided us with a statement about the case that we published as part of our reporting, Gibson’s Bakery sues Oberlin College over racial profiling accusations, Oberlin cuts business ties:

Oberlin College faces serious financial challenges, resulting from a variety of factors, particularly a decline in enrollment. The "social justice" turmoil of recent years at Oberlin, the focus of local and national media coverage and mockery, likely was a contributing factor, as we pointed out in September 2017, Radical fallout: Oberlin College enrollment drops, causing financial problems:

As readers are aware, Legal Insurrection has reported more extensively on events at Oberlin College over the past several years than almost any other website. Among other things, Legal Insurrection has engaged in reporting on the following issues related to Oberlin College:

Oberlin College and its Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo are defending a lawsuit brought by the local Gibson's Bakery after in incident in which three Oberlin College students were arrested for shoplifting. Oberlin students launched protests and a boycott of the bakery claiming racial profiling of the students. The college itself cut off business with the bakery, and the lawsuit alleges, assisted in helping organize the protests. The three students eventually pleaded guilty, but that didn't stop the controversy. The boycott continued even after police released data showing there was no racial profiling in shoplifting arrests at the bakery.

Oberlin College is struggling financially, after over a decade of intense national media coverage of extreme social justice activism on campus. The college has not met its enrollment goals resulting in a financial shortfall and talk about how to control expenses. We first covered the financial fallout from enrollment decline in September 2017, Radical fallout: Oberlin College enrollment drops, causing financial problems.

Oberlin College faces two serious lawsuits arising out of social justice activism on campus. One suit, by a local bakery boycotted by Oberlin students and administration based on apparently false claims the bakery racially profiled students, has been permitted to move forward. We reported on that decision in Court: Gibson’s Bakery lawsuit against Oberlin College can continue in full::

We previously covered the bitter town/gown dispute between Gibson's Bakery and Oberlin College. The short version is that three Oberlin students were arrested for shoplifting at Gibson's bakery. Oberlin students claimed racial profiling, and mounted protests and a boycott supported by college student groups, administrators and faculty. The boycott continued even after police released data showing there was no racial profiling in shoplifting arrests at the bakery, and the three students pled guilty. See these posts for background on the dispute:

For over a year we have been covering an incident at Gibson's Bakery in Oberlin, Ohio, close to Oberlin College. The incident involved charges of racial profiling against the Bakery after three black Oberlin students were arrested for shoplifting. When one of the employees, Allyn Gibson, attempted to stop them, a scuffle broke out. The reaction from Oberlin student activists was to make claims of racial profiling, as we documented in our first post on the incident in November 2016, Bakery targeted by Oberlin College #BlackLivesMatter fights back:

A year ago almost to the day, we covered a dispute involving Oberlin College students and a local bakery, Gibson's Bakery. The Oberlin students, with the support of some faculty and staff, accused the bakery of racial profiling three Oberlin students who were arrested for shoplifting. Those three students eventually pleaded guilty, and police stats showed that Gibson's did not engage in racial profiling. Nonetheless, the turmoil has continued, and Gibson's is suing claiming a continuing campaign to strangle its business.

At both the University of Missouri and Evergreen State College, an atmosphere of aggressive "Social Justice" activism damaged enrollment and contributed to financial difficulties. Apparently, even liberal students don't want to attend institutions where student and faculty social justice warriors have turned the campus into a battleground. The same thing may be happening at Oberlin College in Ohio.