Ohio's Oberlin College has been a bastion of liberal activism virtually since its founding in 1833. It was the first interracial and first coeducational college in the US, and was once even home to a stop on the Underground Railroad.
But in the heady modern political climate, Oberlin is known less for helping ferry runaway slaves to freedom in Canada, and more for an activist community that has condemned cafeteria food offerings as racist (because they're not authentic), questioned the value of teaching the western canon and pushed the necessity of safe spaces. One black female professor provoked a controversy in 2016 after she was fired for blaming Israel for 9/11. Soon, the school's black student union was condemning the school as an "unethical institution" and demanding that the professor be given tenure.
But while these incidents may have tarnished the school's reputation, reinforcing its reputation as a bastion of over-privileged trust-funders, the college will now face a very real cost after losing a legal battle with a local bakery that has been a pillar of the downtown business community since it opened more than 100 years ago, according to the Washington Post.
Gibson's, a bakery known for its wheat donuts and apple fritters, has for decades held a standing contract to supply baked goods for university functions. But the school cut ties with Gibson's after an incident where a young black student was caught trying to shoplift a few bottles of wine.
A scuffle ensued, and ended with the student's arrest and arraignment on a robbery charge.
For Gibson’s owners, that did not settle the matter. In November 2017, they filed a civil complaint against Oberlin in the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas. Accusing the college of lending support to the protests, the Gibson family sued the institution, as well as Raimondo, for libel, slander, interference with business relationships, interference with contracts, deceptive trade practices, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent hiring and trespass.
"Gibson’s Bakery has suffered a severe and sustained loss of student, professor, administrative, and college department business," the complaint argued. It also pointed to a "severe emotional and physical toll" on the family. Their home had been damaged, they claimed, and their car tires punctured.
Gibson's ended up winning an $11 million judgment. It just shows how sometimes jumping to conclusions doesn't pay.https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-06-10/local-bakery-wins-11-million-after-oberlin-college-students-labeled-it-racisthttps://web.archive.org/web/20190611133639/https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-06-10/local-bakery-wins-11-million-after-oberlin-college-students-labeled-it-racist