The Daily Mail is reporting on the substantial financial award that was finally handed down to the family after a long legal battle in which Oberlin College accused the bakery of having a “long history of racism.” The battle began after a 2016 incident in which store owner Allyn Gibson confronted a black student who tried to steal a bottle of wine from their store. An altercation ensued between Gibson, the student and two of his friends. The three students were ultimately arrested, confessed to the crime, and apologized, but that didn’t stop members of the student body and school administrators from launching a campaign against the bakery for what they perceived as “racial profiling.”
What began as protests in front of the bakery quickly escalated into the school ceasing to purchase baked goods from the store and participating in a national crusade to brand the Gibsons as racists. During one protest, students and administrators, including a vice president and dean of students, handed out flyers that accused the bakery of a “long track record of racial profiling and discrimination” even though they were never able to provide any convincing evidence to support this claim in court.
But that didn’t stop the college from stubbornly pursuing the case, even after repeated losses in court that didn’t end until a three-judge panel at the 9th District Court of Appeals in Akron issued a 50-page ruling in April of this year that ruled in favor of the Gibsons and ordered the school to pay $36 million in damages to the family.
According to The Chronicle-Telegraph, Judge Donna Carr ruled that a flyer accusing the Gibsons of racism that was produced by the university and handed out during a protest was written in such a way that any “reasonable reader” would be led to believe that the family “had a verifiable history of racially profiling shoplifters on that basis for years” even though no such testimony was offered or allowed in court. Multiple witnesses who worked at the Gibson’s bakery or patronized the store over the years testified to having never experienced racism by the family. Oberlin College employees could only offer “rumors” of racial profiling or discrimination by the Gibsons, all of which were thrown out as hearsay.
"The Gibsons also presented evidence that they had been continually taunted and harassed for many months, that their business and property had been vandalized, and that Grandpa Gibson had broken his back after an encounter with someone he believed was trying to harass him or break into his apartment," Carr wrote, adding that the appeals court "cannot conclude that reasonable minds could only conclude that this conduct failed to rise to the level of extreme and outrageous."
According to the court, the Gibsons had proven that Oberlin College intended to cause, knew or should have known that it would cause serious emotional distress, and that its conduct was "extreme and outrageous, going beyond all bounds of decency and considered intolerable in a civilized society" causing "psychic injury" or "mental anguish beyond what a reasonable person would be expected to endure."
In an interview with Fox and Friends Weekend on Sunday, Lorna Gibson expressed relief about the settlement but called it a bittersweet moment because her husband and his father passed away during the ordeal.
“I wish they were both here to see it,” she said. "It took a tremendous toll [on my family]. A lot of stress, a lot of financial toll. It definitely hit us hard."
Her husband, David Gibson, died in 2019 at the age of 65 from pancreatic cancer. Her father-in-law, Allyn Gibson, Sr. died at the age of 93 in February of this year.
Lee Plakas, an attorney representing the bakery, added that Oberlin College still refuses to own up to the role it played in causing so much pain and hardship to an innocent family. Even though the students who caused the incident have long since admitted their guilt and apologized, the school did nothing more than issue a curt statement expressing their disappointment at the Court’s decision and their hope that the end of the litigation will “begin the healing of our entire community.”
"This should've really been a teaching moment for the college,” Plakas told Fox on Sunday, but "the college still doesn't get it… the teachers refused to be taught or accept the lesson."
The school's stubborn refusal to admit their mistake is the reason why Oberlin College and so many other "woke tyrants" like them are being forced to learn a different kind of lesson, one that is summed up very succinctly in the new adage: "Go woke, go broke."
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