Victory in lawsuit against Oberlin shows the wages of woke zealotry
Toxic woke extremism now carries a stiff price tag: Oberlin College has agreed to pay Gibson’s Bakery $36.59 million for the school’s official drive to paint the bakery as racist after a black student was caught shoplifting there in 2016.
Oberlin staff handed out flyers falsely alleging the bakery had a long history of racial profiling. The Gibsons sued, and jurors set the huge award in 2019, with payment delayed by the school’s appeals.
(By the way, the school’s president pretends that insurance will pay the bill, but few policies cover intentional wrongdoing like Oberlin’s.)
Good for the Gibson family for sticking to its guns despite the hell Oberlin inflicted on it. And good for the judges and jury for getting this one right: The three students at the heart of the fracas admitted the bakery had not profiled them. And there’s nothing racist about a small business wanting to deter theft.
Bigger picture: Despite the mad rush by megacorps like Disney and elite educational institutions to cash in on the Great Awokening, reality appears to be re-asserting itself. Americans, by and large, don’t like divisive, disingenuous politics driven by elite preening and resentment.
Consider Gov. Ron DeSantis’ stripping away of the special legal status Disney long enjoyed over its efforts (urged on by woke employees) against his bill on gender ideology in schools. Disney doubtless now wishes it had avoided the whole controversy.
So the elite should pay heed to the Oberlin verdict. Shenanigans like the firing of Princeton’s Joshua Katz after he criticized a faculty letter demanding special privileges for nonwhite professors may play well with the Twitter base, but they meet a brick wall in the common sense of everyday Americans.
As the Gibsons’ attorney noted after the jury spoke, the message here “is to have the intestinal fortitude to be the adult in the room” when crybully students or employees are demanding that heads roll.
Otherwise, more financial punishments lie ahead.