Oberlin College(Wikimedia Commons)
By PETER KIRSANOW. September 12, 2022 4:51 PM. Media: Nationalreview.com
As you’ve probably heard, last week Oberlin College announced that it will finally pay Gibson’s Bakery a $36.59 million judgment for falsely accusing the bakery’s owners of racism.
The case arose after a black Oberlin student was arrested for allegedly trying to illegally obtain alcohol from the store using a fake ID. After the arrest an Oberlin dean reportedly distributed flyers claiming the bakery was a “racist” establishment. A resolution condemning Gibson’s was displayed at the student center for a year. Oberlin ordered its food supplier to cease purchases from the bakery. Predictably, Gibson’s suffered severe economic losses. In addition, its employees were allegedly threatened, the owner’s home was damaged, and employees’ tires were slashed.
A mere accusation of racism can be enough to destroy those on the receiving end. But fighting such accusations is tough — financially as well as emotionally. Even when the accused is vindicated, the unwarranted stain often remains.
The Gibson’s litigation lasted more than five years. Not many have the guts, stamina, and resources to go through such an ordeal. But the Gibsons show it can be done.
Oberlin reportedly has an endowment exceeding $1 billion. There are more than 50 schools in the country with greater endowments, topped by Harvard at approximately $41 billion. But $36 million is real money, and a large price to pay for virtue signaling.
In my 20 years on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, I’ve seen allegations of racism that strain credulity — seemingly on a daily basis. Bogus allegations abound. Even the most absurd are given initial credence by the media — and that initial take is often the one that sticks, no matter how thoroughly it’s later debunked.
But if there were a few more widely publicized judgments like Gibson’s, the wokerati might pause for just a moment before indulging in what, to this point, has been consequence-free virtue signaling.
As one of my football coaches used to say, “Hit back twice as hard, and they won’t wanna get hit again.”