Maybe the way to stop radical wokeism is to make it pay for its ill-willed attempts to destroy others as racists.
A few $30-million court rulings might do the trick. Left-wing Oberlin College may be an example.
Last week, a federal appeals court rejected the Ohio college’s appeal of a $31-million judgment rendered after a local bakery successfully showed that it was defamed by Oberlin.
The case began in November 2016.
A black man attempted to steal two bottles of wine from Gibson’s Bakery and was encountered by a store employee, who was the owner’s son and white.
The suspect tried to flee, the employee tried to detain him and a scuffle ensued. The fight spilled out into the street, and at one point the suspect threatened to kill the employee. Two black women who were reportedly accomplices to the crime joined the melee and even snapped at police once they arrived on the scene.
The three who were arrested were students at Oberlin.
The case prompted protests of the bakery, a community icon for more than a century.
Eventually, the Oberlin student senate adopted a resolution stating Gibson’s Bakery had “a history of racial profiling and discriminatory treatment.” The resolution also called for a boycott of the bakery.
Some didn’t buy it. Retired Oberlin professor Roger Copeland told CBS News, “I can understand why people were looking for some outlet for their frustration, but it’s just counterproductive to bend that anger towards a small family business that to my knowledge is not guilty of the sort of racial profiling that people accuse it of.”
In August 2017, the would-be thieves pled guilty to attempted theft and aggravated trespassing,” CBS News reported. They also said in statements required by their plea agreement that “their actions were wrong and that the store wasn’t racist.”
“Even so,” CBS noted, “students continue to boycott Gibson’s over perceived racial profiling, causing business to suffer. Pressed by a reporter to provide evidence or examples of profiling, they said only that when black students enter the store, they feel as though they’re being watched.”
“Racism can’t always be proven on an Excel sheet,” Kameron Dunbar, an Oberlin junior and vice-chair of the student senate, told CBS.
But Gibson’s sued over the defamatory claim – and won.
In 2019, a judge ordered the college to pay $40 million. The penalty was later reduced to $25 million for the bakery and $6 million for its legal fees.
According to the Chronicle of Higher Education on Friday, Ohio’s Ninth District Court of Appeals upheld the trial court’s decision.
“Among other things,” the publication noted, “it cited evidence suggesting that an administrator had helped distribute at least one of the fliers that accused the shop of racism. It also cited ‘the active role that Oberlin played in the publication of the Senate Resolution’ that called for the boycott.” Right after the incident, Oberlin President Marvin
Krislov issued an email to the campus community saying in part that the college was “grateful for the determination of our students and for the leadership demonstrated by Student Senate.”
The website LegalInsurreciton.com noted that the college has never apologized for comments about the bakery, cutting its business ties with the shop, and participating in the defamation activity.
An Oberlin spokesman told Legal Insurrection that the college is considering its options.