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Court awards $33m (max punitive damages) to bakery libeled and harassed by Oberlin College

infinitys_7th

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In November 2016, a black Oberlin College student walked into a family-run shop near the Ohio school to buy wine with a fake ID, according to court records.

A white employee, the grandson of an owner, suspected that the student was also trying to steal wine, and chased him outside, placing him in a chokehold, according to some witness accounts included in the records. Two of the students’ friends, who are also black, intervened.

The altercation quickly touched off protests by students outside the shop, Gibson’s Bakery, which has been a fixture in Oberlin, about 40 miles west of Cleveland, for more than 100 years.

They accused the shop of being racist, and petitioned the college to cut its ties to the bakery, which was a supplier to its cafeterias. The bakery and two of its owners then sued the college for libel, in November 2017, accusing it of supporting and stoking the students’ claims of racism.
The article is misrepresenting what occurred - the campus administration promoted the libelous narrative and demonstrations, including allowing campus resources to be used to print a flyer declaring how "racist" the bakery was.

A jury sided with the bakery on Friday, delivering a verdict of $11 million in compensatory damages against Oberlin College and one of its administrators. The jury was scheduled to reconvene this week to consider punitive damages.

The verdict raised questions about the responsibility of institutions of higher education to police students’ speech and behavior, as well as broader First Amendment issues.

Floyd Abrams, a First Amendment lawyer, said the outcome represented “a double-barreled threat to free speech on campus.”

“The notion that uninhibited student speech can lead to vast financial liability for the universities at which it occurs threatens both the viability of educational institutions and ultimately the free speech of their students,” he said on Sunday.
Again, the truth of what happened is being obscured. The speech was not occurring on campus - Oberlin administration was promoting students to go into the community to harrass, libel, and defame the bakery. They have no right to seek to maliciously damage another person or entity with lies. The fact that this ruling was found given 1st Amendment protections shows how egregious it was.

Update: Jurors elected to put maximum punitive damages on Oberlin, resulting in a total of $33,000,000 damages awarded to the bakery:


Thank you for the reminder @desertdroog
 
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merlinevo

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Higher ed institutions has a dilemma when it comes to dealing with black students and accusations of racism. They will fold at any accusation of racism and will automatically side with the accuser.

The problem starts with the student body. A slight majority of black students are more interested in the economically worthless disciplines like grievance studies and liberal arts or simply got in for sports. Colleges want to attract more of these students to their campus because of affirmative action quotas and not wanting to appear bias. So more black students are filling these campuses and learning worthless ideas about civil disobedience and oppression.

The colleges, having enabled them, cannot distance themselves from the students they brought in, so they have to stand with the students no matter how ridiculous the racism claims are. They must do lengthy investigations and cannot make a conclusion without appearing bias. This gives black immense influence on what type of policies and actions administrations can make, and pulling them into legal battles. The students wield so much influence that they are going as far as deciding how many qualified white and asian can be on campus or what type of students should be let in. It's a vicious cycle that is destroying academia's purpose of pursuing truth and promoting meritocracy.

When these grievance studies majors graduate, they take their worthless degree with them trying to change the world. They will go into journalism, teaching, community organizing and gin up racial tension and incite protest and resistance because that is all they are qualified to do. All this while it is mostly the white and asian students who put in the hard work and fill the hard sciences disciplines and contribute to America in real meaningful ways.

I believe making colleges more diverse by lower the standard and letting in students who, for all intent and purposes, should not be in college, is a terrible and unsustainable system. Perhaps trade school or militiary are better options for these grievance studies students.

 
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Trojita

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https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/article/Protests-at-Oberlin-labeled-a-bakery-racist-Now-13965288.php

When Aladin arrived at the front of the store, Gibson, 32 at the time, told the student that he was contacting the police, saying he had seen him slip two bottles of wine under his clothes. When he pulled out his phone to take a picture, according to a police report, Aladin slapped it away, causing it to strike the Gibson's face.

Gibson followed the student from the store, where they began exchanging blows across the street, which is campus property. Police said they arrived to find Gibson on his back, with Aladin, joined by two friends, punching and kicking him. All three were charged, Aladin with robbery and his friends with assault.
The owners argued that college leaders facilitated the "illegal defamation and economic boycott" by helping students copy and distribute the fliers, as well as joining them at protest actions and allowing them to skip class and gain credit to continue their campaign. According to the complaint, a Facebook post by an Oberlin academic department stated, "Gibson's has been bad for decades, their dislike of Black people is palpable. Their food is rotten and they profile Black students. NO MORE!"
The college suspended its Gibson's order in the days following the incident but restored it in early 2017. In August, the three students at the center of the tumult pleaded guilty to amended misdemeanor charges. Before their sentencing, which involved restitution but no jail time, each student read a statement acknowledging that Gibson was justified in trying to restrain Aladin, and that the owner's actions had not been racially motivated, according to court documents.


Raimondo took the stand and denied accounts that she had instructed college staff to engage in unruly behavior at the demonstrations. She said she lacked "control of the students." Court documents revealed how she and another administrator shared a sense of outrage after a professor spoke against the boycott.


"[Expletive] him," Raimondo wrote in a message, the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram reported. She added, "I'd say unleash the students if I wasn't convinced this needs to be put behind us."
For those unaware Raimondo is the Dean of the school lol.


Also occurred during the same time period
In the fall of 2016, students were on high alert following the dismissal of an assistant professor of rhetoric and composition, Joy Karega, over incendiary statements on social media, including her suggestion that Israel was behind the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Karega, who is black, said she was a victim of discrimination. The college's Black Student Union, assailing Oberlin as an "unethical institution," had previously called for her tenure.
 

desertdroog

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They need to take a flamethrower through that campus. -Scent of a woman comparison

Makes you consider what type of adults that school is outputting into society.
 
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DESTROYA

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My how the tables have turned.🥐🍞🥯
Pretty soon they’ll probably start saying the judge is racist
 

Boss Mog

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This is good stuff, I just hope that the school will actually be made to pay.

It reminds of those black guys trying to steal chipotle and the manager getting fired. Better let black people do whatever the fuck they want otherwise you're a racist piece of shit is pretty much how it goes nowadays. It's sad that so many black people will blindly defend other black people who are in the wrong solely on the basis of their skin color. Racism isn't only about hating other races but also about favoring your own, at least that's what I always hear about white people banding together.
 
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Saruhashi

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Interesting case. I'll do my own research.
Did you come to any conclusions yet?

Imagine you show up at your local bakery to find the owner on the floor, on his back, with 3 lads beating him.
Is there any way that manages to shake out with you thinking that the owner deserved it in some way?
Is there any way you can imagine yourself organizing a harassment campaign against the bakery?

Just seems to me that race relations in the USA are bad enough without colleges pulling shit like this.

I don't understand how the stance of the college isn't "please don't shoplift from the local businesses and for sure do not get two of your buddies to help beat up the owners of local businesses" and also those kids are booted out.

Instead they seem to be sending the message that if their students are stealing from and beating up people in the local area then they are going to fully back the students.

How are the students even able to leverage that kind of power over an educational institution? "Yeah, we robbed the guys store and beat him up but if you don't back us here then it won't go well for you either".

Do these colleges legitimately fear the students?
 

ssolitare

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His research will consist of trying to find a Vox or Vice article that spins this in a way that better fits his narrative.
Stop acting like an asshole for a change, it'll probably get you laid more often.

After further research it looks like they werent being profiled, and that they were just trying to prevent an underage sale and theft.

Don't ask me questions about the protesting though.
 

Raven117

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Good. I don't really care about the bakery in question, but organizing mobs behind the shield of benevolent institutions is unquestionably subversive behavior.

I would hope the professors and administrators responsible would be fired for this, but that's the school's business.
Good post. It really does echo sentiments found in the U.S.'s puritanical roots. (Organize a mob being a seemingly benevolent institution). I hope courts and juries continue to punish this kind of behavior.
 
Oct 26, 2018
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Good for the bakery.

Like all court cases, I firmly believe that whomever is the shit disturber (in this case the college and students), the side being a total asshole get reprimanded big time. And $11 million seems nice. Hopefully they get it and it doesn't drag into appeals and a 10 year wait.

That will teach the college. I bet you won't be seeing them do anything stupid like that again.

Anytime one side is completely being an ass (whether it's a false accuser or a guilty defendant), damages should automatically be tripled at minimum. This will teach false accusers to better be sure of it, and a defendant side to influence them to not do anything obviously guilty.
 

desertdroog

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KINGMOKU

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Ok, now this is funny. Oberlin College defamed the jurors before they finalized deliberation.

This is what happens when you let emotion overtake rational reasoning.

The absolute crazy people now infesting the Democrats have lost their damn minds. This is obvious in this very letter.

Why on earth would you send this? What possible rational reason is behind this email? An emotional appeal? In a law setting?

Holy hell. Anyone who supports this kind of thinking needs deprogramming. Brains infested with an ideology that is poisonous, and history bears that out.

The punishment and shame phase will begin shortly on that end of the emotionally unstable spectrum. A "coming to jesus" moment when they all realize the damage they have done.

This whole case is so utterly obvious, one has to wonder just how deep this form of mass mental illness goes.
 
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So the Vice President of the School is also the legal council? Am I too drunk or did I read that right?

That is probably a bad idea that can lead a school to get uppity.

Also @ssolitare you need to have a good pint of ol’ fashion Lager.
 

infinitys_7th

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Ok, now this is funny. Oberlin College defamed the jurors before they finalized deliberation.

I wonder if this could be some sort of autistic attempt to claim the jury is "prejudiced" against them and get a mistrial declared or prevent from awarding punitive damages?
 
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infinitys_7th

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The cowards wanted the judge to declare a mistrial.


Denied. :pie_lcry:

In light of the email posted above, it's almost like their ongoing lack of self-awareness and self-control is why they were taken to court in the first place.
I wonder what their argument was? I'm not expecting them to give up at all - in their minds, they are the heroes, and the heroes must prevail.
 

infinitys_7th

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Has anyone found any good salt over this? I've scanned the usual places (Era, r/Politics, etc.) and there is no discussion on what will probably be a precedent-setting case. I found like one thread that was not a replyless OP, and it barely had 30 posts.

Imagine, they'll be telling their grandkids (lol as if) that they stayed in jail under Trump's oppressive regime.

They truly wish to live out the same lives as their Bolshevik heroes.
I have seen a few comments on news Disqus sections where people claiming to be alums are reeeeeing over their donations going to "cranky racists", so that has already started.
 
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DunDunDunpachi

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I have seen a few comments on news Disqus sections where people claiming to be alums are reeeeeing over their donations going to "cranky racists", so that has already started.
They will exhibit all the same negative stereotypical behaviors of the Boomers they so love to publicly disparage: they will be resentful, entitled, clinging to old victories and nursing old hatreds, secretly believing themselves unsung heroes, viewing every facet of life through their twisted intersectional paradigm, and screeching at the world from their front porch like an overweight, androgynous version of a southern racist from the Jim Crow era.
 

Teletraan1

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Bakers are going to be in short supply. Who the fuck wants to be constantly harassed by marginalized groups trying to score victim points. If you don't bake a wedding cake or let people rob your store you get a hate mob sicked on you where they try and shut down your business. It must be hard enough to run a small business without all this nonsense so good on the baker for cashing in.
 

MayauMiao

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“Fuck him … I’d say unleash the students if I wasn’t convinced this needs to be put behind us.”

This line should be a case study for college everywhere on how to not screw up their reputation.
 
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KINGMOKU

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The cowards wanted the judge to declare a mistrial.


Denied. :pie_lcry:

In light of the email posted above, it's almost like their ongoing lack of self-awareness and self-control is why they were taken to court in the first place.
There is no legal precedent for declaring a mistrial in this case if I'm not mistaken.

It would appear that the defense, is still unsure why they got sued exactly. The lawyer representing the college's interests should be fired. Out of a canon, and into the sun.

Just dumb.