In the real world, if a shopkeeper catchers shoplifters in the act, and shoplifters attack the shopkeeper, the shoplifters are in the wrong. What with shoplifting being a crime. Assault too. Regardless of racial makeup. But this story doesn’t take place in the real world. It takes place at Oberlin College, which has a history of telling tall tales (see Oberlin Students Demand to be Paid… to Protest and Oberlin College Students Protest: ‘The Cafeteria food is racist!’). At Oberlin, the shopkeeper is racist for preventing the shoplifting in the first place.
The dispute, which began in November 2016 with the arrest of three black Oberlin students who tried stealing wine from Gibson’s, is now a lawsuit in which the exasperated bakery owners accuse the college and a top dean of slandering Gibson’s as a “racist establishment” and taking steps to destroy the family’s livelihood.
The three students were arrested after punching and kicking the white shopkeeper. The 18- and 19-year-old students said that they were racially profiled and that their only crime was trying to buy alcohol with fake identification; the shopkeeper, Allyn Gibson, said the students attacked him after he caught them trying to steal bottles of wine.
Dispute? Gibson caught three students shoplifting. Those three students proceeded to beat the crap out of him. In the real world, this is more cut and dry than a feminist’s hairstyle. Regardless of if, argumentatively speaking, the students were being “profiled.” Assault doesn’t have an exception clause for “if he hurt my feelings.”
But according to Oberlin College, the assault is the fault of the shop owner. This is where the lawyers come in.
On Nov. 7, the Gibsons sued Oberlin and Meredith Raimondo, vice president and dean of students, for slander, accusing faculty members of encouraging demonstrations against the bakery by suspending classes, distributing flyers, and supplying protesters with free food and drink.
It says Raimondo took part in the demonstration against Gibson’s with a bullhorn and distributed a flyer that said the bakery is a “RACIST establishment with a LONG ACCOUNT of RACIAL PROFILING and DISCRIMINATION.”
Reminder: the shopkeeper had the crap beat out of him. But people are protesting the shop. Welcome to 2017, it’s only going to get worse.
Today, the lawsuit says, college tour guides continue to inform prospective students that Gibson’s is racist.
Dave Gibson, the bakery’s owner, says the lawsuit is about standing up for his right to crack down on shoplifting without being branded as a racist. The suit says Oberlin demanded that he stop pushing criminal charges on first-time shoplifters and call school deans instead.
I’m not a lawyer, but this seems to be an interesting case. Traditionally, leftists are able to accuse anyone they want of racism. For any reason. Facts, schmacts. If you try to defend yourself? BAM! You’re double racist. You might as well appropriate your Pottery Barn sheets for KKKing.
Here’s an idea. What if there’s precedence for punitive damages? Legal precedence that says, sure, you can recklessly accuse someone of being racist. But it’s going to cost you. Or maybe this was fell under the umbrella of “tort reform.” Either way, actions should have consequences, no?
Let’s keep an eye on this.