Remember the bakery that made headlines after one of their owners ran after a black shoplifter?
It was 2017 when three Oberlin College students stirred up quite the controversy. Only, their attempt at deflecting from their crime with false claims of racism didn’t pan out the way the students originally hoped.
However, the fight to justice nearly cost the Gibson family their cherished bakery, and justice wasn’t fully realized until after both Allyn and David Gibson passed away.
According to the Daily Mail:
The yearlong legal fight involving a school and town known for its liberal leanings erupted into a debate over racism, free speech and political correctness.
A Lorain County jury in 2019 awarded the Gibsons $44 million in damages, which a judge later reduced to $25 million.
The Ohio Supreme Court in August said it would not take up an appeal of the judgment.
All of the money has now been paid, Brandon McHugh, attorney for the Gibsons, told WKYC-TV in Cleveland on Thursday.
In addition to the $25 million judgement, the school paid more than $11 million in attorney fees and interest.
The lawsuit was filed after David Gibson’s son, also named Allyn, chased and tackled a black male student he suspected of having stolen a bottle of wine in 2016.
Two black female students who were with the male student tried to intervene. All three were arrested and later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges.
The arrests triggered protests outside Gibson’s Bakery where flyers were handed out, some by an Oberlin College vice president and dean of students, accusing the Gibsons of being racist.
A Student Senate resolution condemning the Gibsons was emailed to all students and was posted in a display case at the school’s student center, where it remained for a year.
Oberlin College officials ordered its campus food provider to stop buying bakery items from Gibson’s.
In a statement earlier this fall, Oberlin College said it hoped the end of the litigation would begin the healing for the community.
The two original owners who brought the suit have since died. David Gibson died in November 2019 at age 65. Allyn Gibson died in February. He was 93.
The college had been ordered to pay after jurors ruled that it had defamed Gibson’s Bakery by describing the institution as racist, after the storeowner chased down three black students who stole from the business in November 2016.
With legal fees and interest, the amount rose to over $36.5 million.
A lawyer for the bakery celebrated the huge settlement on Thursday.
‘With Oberlin’s decision to not pursue any additional appeals, the Gibson Family’s fight is finally over,’ said Brandon McHugh, an attorney for the family.
‘Truth still matters, and David has overcome Goliath.’
The Long Road to Justice
Now, the Gibsons can start the rebuilding process, and hopefully their bakery, started 137 years ago, will prosper for many years to come. In a world full of box stores, it’s nice to see a family business succeed for another generation.
Sadly, the college still refuses to admit their fault in the matters at hand. However, both the court of appeals and the Ohio Supreme Court made the admission for Oberlin College.
The Long and Short of It:
The anger at Oberlin was whipped up by the former dean of students, Meredith Raimondo, who led the woke mob’s attacks against Gibson’s – and even turned up outside the business to screech accusations while toting a bullhorn.
While named as a defendant in the suit, she won’t have to pay the settlement.
And despite the disgrace she heaped on her former employer, Raimondo has now landed a cozy job at Oglethorpe Liberal Arts College in Atlanta, and has yet to speak out over her role in the costly scandal.
The statement continued to say that while school officials are ‘disappointed by the Court’s decision… We hope that the end of the litigation will begin the healing of our entire community.’
‘We value our relationship with the City of Oberlin, and we look forward to continuing our support of, and partnership with, local businesses as we work together to help our city thrive,’ school officials said.
They added that ‘our careful financial planning… means that we can satisfy our legal obligation without impacting our academic and student experience.
In other words, a liberal arts education is such the massive rip off, paying out $36M won’t really hurt the college at all. But they’ll still put out a “statement” that paints them in the most positive light possible. It’s the typical leftist form of an apology. A sorry-not-sorry kind of deal.
‘It is our belief that the way forward is to continue to support and strengthen the quality of education for our students now and into the future.’
The Daily Mail continues:
The arrests of the students sparked protests outside Gibson’s Bakery where flyers were handed out, some by an Oberlin College vice president and dean of students, accusing Gibsons of a long track record of racial profiling and discrimination.
A Student Senate resolution condemning the Gibson family was then emailed to all students and was posted in a display case at a school student center, where it remained for a year.
Soon, the woke college — located in the small town of Oberlin southwest of Cleveland — ordered its campus food provider to stop buying cookies, bagels and other items from Gibson’s, hurting the bakery’s profits.
And even after the storeowners complained about the way they were being portrayed by college officials, they refused to retract their claims, protests continued, and the store was forced to lay off half its staff and cut opening hours.
In an opinion article just last week, Lorna Gibson, widow of the former bakery owner, said the ‘shelves are bare’, it now only has a trickle of customers, staff has been laid off and the family — which is white — is deep in debt.
‘If I got the money from the college, I wouldn’t buy a house, or go on vacation, or leave Ohio. I would replace the compressors for the refrigerators and replace the fryers and proofers that we use for our dough,’ she wrote.
‘If the money doesn’t come through within the next couple of months, I’ll be forced to declare bankruptcy and shut the doors of Gibson’s for good,’ she added.
She then went on to describe how the massive protests in the days after Donald Trump’s election affected the family’s business.
‘They blocked the door and screamed at customers who elbowed their way through to the counter. A few came in to record videos on their phones of our customers.’
‘Our world was turned upside down and has never been set right,’ Lorna Gibson wrote in the article, in which she strenuously rejected claims her family were ‘white supremacists’ who racially profiled customers.
‘Calling us racists wasn’t just wrong, it was deeply painful to our core.’
The boycott effectively continues to this day and freshmen nowadays are ‘brainwashed to hate us’ she added.
Gibson said she is doing everything she can ‘to honor [her husband’s] final wish’ and ‘keep the doors open, no matter what’.
Allyn Gibson spent much of his eighties sitting in front of the bakery, a ‘fixture in the community’ chatting with locals, wrote Lorna Gibson.
After the protests, ‘no one would talk to him. It broke his heart’, she added.
It’s a crying shame that a man should live his final years as an outcast all because someone couldn’t take responsibility for their own petty crimes. I’m not sure what’s worse– the fact that racism was blamed, or the fact that an institution of “higher education” perpetuated such false claims instead of demanding personal responsibility. But that’s the woke world we live in these days.