Oberlin racks up millions in interest after failing to fork over cash owed to bakery smeared as racist

Ohio’s Oberlin college is now on the hook for more than $4 million in interest fees, after it failed to pay out the more than $30 million owed for libel damages to a local bakery.

Oberlin’s problems started in 2016, when a former dean at the school promoted claims that the family-run bakery was “racist” after an altercation between an employee and three black students from the college. For some inexplicable reason, leftists absolutely hate local bakeries, and go out of their way to destroy them.

In this case, Gibson’s Bakery took the matter to court, and was awarded a $31.6 million judgment in 2019. That amount has increased to over $36 million, which accounts for the $4,300-per-day interest that has accumulated over the years that the college has refused to pay. Now, according to the local newspaper The Chronicle, the Gibson family is demanding that the college quit screwing around and pay up.

The judgment followed from an incident in 2016, when Allyn Gibson, the son and grandson of the owners of Gibson’s Bakery and Food Mart, tackled a black Oberlin student whom he suspected of stealing bottles of wine from the shop.

The suspect’s friends, who were also black students at Oberlin, became involved in the physical altercation, and that led to predictable accusations of racism and racial profiling. The three students were subsequently arrested for shoplifting, and pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges. They also read statements affirming that there was no racial motivation for Gibson’s actions.

The incident, however, occurred on the day after Donald Trump was elected president, and so the leftist college immediately involved itself, with students making the unfounded claim that the Bakery’s owners were racist and had targeted the black students. This led to student boycotts of the bakery, along with protests outside the shop, and the school refused to do business any longer with Gibson’s Bakery.

That’s when Oberlin’s then-vice president and dean of students, Meredith Raimondo, inserted herself into the drama. According to court documents from the libel case, Raimondo handed out flyers that claimed Gibson’s Bakery was a “RACIST establishment with a LONG ACCOUNT of RACIAL PROFILING and DISCRIMINATION.” Moreover, college resources were diverted toward printing the flyers and other materials, and supplying the protesting students with food and supplies.

The owners of Gibson’s Bakery promptly filed a defamation lawsuit against the college in 2017, asserting that Oberlin had libeled them and hurt their business through their outrageous actions. It turns out a jury agreed, finding the college generally and Raimondo in particular guilty of libel. Furthermore, the jury found the college guilty of the intentional infliction of emotional distress on the bakery’s owner, David Gibson, since deceased, as well as his son.

The jury awarded the bakery a hefty sum of $44 million, but this judgment was subsequently lowered to $25 million. In 2019, the court tacked on an additional $6.5 million, ordering the college to reimburse the bakery’s owners for the cost of legal fees. Oberlin College has consistently refused to pay up, and has filed appeals with the Ohio Supreme Court in hopes of shirking the judgment altogether.

So, for the time being, it remains to be seen whether Oberlin will have to face the music for its past misdeeds.


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Todd Jaquith


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