Share
News

Liberal Arts College Forced to Pay $36.59 Million to a Local Bakery Over Racist Defamation

Share

Following a protracted legal battle, Oberlin College is forced to pay $36.59 million to a local bakery over false and defamatory accusations of racism against the small business.

Gibson’s Bakery claimed the university falsely accused them of racism after a shoplifting incident involving a black student, according to The New York Times.

Oberlin’s agreement to pay tens of millions was announced on Thursday just days after the college’s appeal of a lower court’s ruling was rejected by the Ohio Supreme Court.

According to a report by MSN, the initial incident started when a student attempted to buy a bottle of wine with a fake ID while shoplifting two other bottles under his coat.

The incident prompted a statement from Oberlin that read, “A Black student was chased and assaulted at Gibson’s after being accused of stealing . . . Gibson’s has a history of racial profiling and discriminatory treatment of students and residents alike.”

Trending:
Singer Ashanti Lifts Up Sister During Domestic Violence Awareness Month

According to Forbes‘ report on the case, students and staff called media attention to the incident, further tarnishing Gibson’s reputation.

Lee E. Plakas, the Gibson family’s lawyer, told the Times in an email Thursday, “Truth matters. David, supported by a principled community, can still beat Goliath.”

The clash between the institution and the bakery began in 2016 and their legal troubles reportedly prompted a discussion on race, criminal justice, free speech, and Oberlin’s duty to hold students responsible.

The initial incident prompted a statement from Oberlin that read, “A Black student was chased and assaulted at Gibson’s after being accused of stealing . . . Gibson’s has a history of racial profiling and discriminatory treatment of students and residents alike.”

According to Forbes‘ report on the case, students and staff called media attention to the incident, further tarnishing Gibson’s reputation.

Lorna Gibson, the bakery’s owner wrote about her family’s six-year legal battle in an article titled “Will I Ever See the $36 Million Oberlin College Owes Me?”

In her article, the bakery owner talked about her family’s personal trials that were impacted by the case, saying “We hoped that, with time, the kids who started all this would graduate, and that new students would come in and that the whole drama would fade. But I’m told that freshmen are still told to boycott us. Parents who come in tell me that their kids have been brainwashed to hate us.”

Oberlin made a statement about the judgment, calling the size “significant,” and said that colleges would be able to pay the judgment “with careful financial planning,” including insurance, “without impacting our academic and student experience.”

The university went on to say “this matter has been painful for everyone,” adding they “hope the end of the litigation will begin the healing of our entire community.”

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction



We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
,
Share
Comment Down Below

Conversation