Oberlin Finds Out How Expensive Radical Leftism Can Be
Racially motivated protests and hatred followed a straightforward case of theft.
The new chic “morality” of the political Left involves social justice — a philosophy that’s grown to mean a uniform distribution using the state of society’s advantages, disadvantages, wealth, and outcomes under the banner of fairness, equity, and justice. In the case of the “progressive” Left, the government is the tool because of its ability to print money and redistribute wealth that would otherwise be criminal and treated as theft, extortion, and corruption outside the realm of government. Fortunately, sometimes real justice is actually done, as is the case with Oberlin College in Ohio.
Within this ideology that’s at the core of much of the policies driving Democrats these days exists the companion of aggressive activism. This often consists of posts on social-media platforms that now operate as rhetorical lynch mobs. Anonymous accounts spew vile comments ranging from rumor to complete slander and libel with no foundation. But sometimes, it becomes in-your-face protests of agitators spewing profanity and hate that may even rise to include violence and assault.
But oh what a great day with the verdict of Gibson Bros v. Oberlin. National Review’s David French sums it up: “An Ohio jury … ordered Oberlin College to pay a business called Gibson’s Food Market and Bakery a stunning $11 million in compensatory damages for defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and intentional interference with business relationships.”
So what happened? French writes:
The facts of the case are egregious. On November 9, 2016, a bakery employee suspected an African-American Oberlin student, Jonathan Aladin, of stealing wine. The employee pursued the student and got in a physical altercation with Aladin and two other Oberlin students, Cecilia Whettstone and Endia Lawrence. Police arrested the three students, and almost a year later — on August 11, 2017 — Aladin pled guilty to attempted theft, aggravated trespass, and underage consumption. Whettstone and Lawrence pled guilty to attempted theft and aggravated trespass. They were not racially profiled. They were guilty of crimes.
Yet students immediately organized a protest of the bakery, publishing and distributing flyers that claimed it was “a RACIST establishment with a LONG ACCOUNT of RACIAL PROFILING and DISCRIMINATION,” and that a member of the Oberlin community “was assaulted” by its owner. Evidence indicated that university officials helped publish and distribute the flyer, including by disseminating it to media.
This was but the beginning of the bakery’s ordeal. The student senate issued a resolution stating that Gibson’s had a history of “racial profiling” and “discriminatory treatment,” and the resolution was posted on campus for “a period of at least one year.” The head of Oberlin’s Department of Africana Studies published a Facebook post declaring that Gibson’s had “been bad for decades” and that “their dislike for black people is palpable.” He said, “Their food is rotten and they profile black students.”
Then, from November 14, 2016, through January 30, 2017, the college suspended all business with Gibson’s.
A jury of locals spoke clearly with the law on their side after they watched Oberlin College fuel the flames of social
justice hatred beyond a simple case of shoplifting and assault. That incident could’ve been adjudicated but instead was escalated by Oberlin, that Woke Progressive Institution of Higher Learning™, where people alleged racial profiling and a hate crime toward the assailants contrary to the facts.
The jury’s verdict means that, at least this time, social justice warriors aren’t getting away with their prettied-up brand of hate, assault, and criminal speech. Instead, they have been unmasked to be the criminals they truly are and face a big price tag for it. The news now coming from Oberlin should be cheered throughout the public in our need to reverse and right the decline from civil debate and dialogue to today’s ambush, protest, assault, and intimidation that comes after the offense-of-the-day is identified.
Oberlin College will appeal its ground-rattling verdict to pay $11 million in compensatory damages to this small, family-owned establishment in addition to another state-law-capped $22 million for punitive damage, down from the ruling of $33 million. “Cha-ching” is the sound of justice in this case.
So, what does this mean to conservatives everywhere being sued for this and that? For those being ambushed with shrieks of racism, bigotry, homophobia, etc.? Well, it seems that freedom of speech does come with a responsibility and value.
In Gibson Bros v. Oberlin, the justice system worked to demonstrate that those who cultivate an environment that infringes upon the rights, property, and safety of not just the disgruntled self-identified victims of society, but individuals who are law-abiding and attempting to operate within a framework of a civil society, will be held accountable and even financially responsible for their role in organizing, equipping, and mobilizing the actions, aggressions, and illegal assaults of the vigilantes of victimhood they instigate.
Remember, in the minds and world of “progressive” leftists, they get to determine and dictate who lives as the offended, the down-trodden, and those deserving of some measure of social justice dished out by the mobs of mouthy militants. It’s great to see, and hopefully the first of many situations in which Rule of Law protects all.
Let’s not only unmask the perpetrators of this unacceptable behavior destroying our politics and polite society; let’s completely dismantle it.