“Shoplifters will be prosecuted.”
The sign that welcomes visitors to Gibson’s Bakery would not seem out of place at any small business, but of course, it takes on a larger meaning in this context.
In many respects, the bakery is like any college town store – alcohol, and wine bottles included, line the walls, along with Hamburger Helper meal kits, cleaning supplies, and personal hygiene items. It’s the sort of place Mom and Dad would stop in to grab junior a few missing items before college starts and fuel up on caffeine before a long drive home.
But of course, Gibson’s was also the target of a vicious cancel campaign by Oberlin College students and administrators back in 2016.
In November 2016, a student from Oberlin College, Jonathan Aladin was arrested for allegedly trying to “steal wine or otherwise illegally obtain wine” from the bakery. Two other students — Cecelia Whettston and Endia J. Lawrence — who were with Aladin at the time were also arrested and accused of misdemeanor assault, the legal filing stated.
The arrests later prompted a protest outside the bakery, with students and staff members from the college allegedly distributing fliers to accuse the owners of being racist. As a result, the bakery suffered financial losses.
In fact, a Student Senate resolution condemning the Gibsons was emailed to all students and was posted in a display case at the school’s student center, where it remained for a year. Oberlin College officials ordered its campus food provider to stop buying bakery items from Gibson’s.
As a result of the pressure from the “woke” members of the college community, the Gibsons have been under mounting stress and pressure, which culminated in an anti-defamation lawsuit, resulting in a court order that Oberlin College must pay the bakery $44 million in damages for defamation back in 2019.
After some haggling, the court agreed to reduce the amount owed to $33 million. However, Oberlin has refused to pay up and has faced little consequence for all of the trouble they’ve given the bakery over the years.
The two original owners who brought the suit have since died. David Gibson died in November 2019 at age 65. Allyn Gibson died in February. He was 93.
Allyn Gibson Sr. famously marched in the name of equality and civil rights with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He died in February 2022 at the age of ninety-three while waiting for Oberlin College to pay back his family business the millions of dollars they were owed. Meanwhile, his son, David, passed away from pancreatic cancer in November 2019 at the age of sixty-five.
The flyer stated that Gibson’s Bakery “is a RACIST establishment with a LONG ACCOUNT of RACIAL PROFILING and DISCRIMINATION,” according to the lawsuit.
“Defamation, boycotts, demonstrations and refusal to do business with Gibson’s Bakery was having a devastating effect on Gibson’s Bakery and the Gibson family,” the suit added.
Following the decision from Ohio Supreme Court last month, Oberlin said in a statement on Thursday that “the size of this verdict is significant.”
“However, our careful financial planning, which includes insurance coverage, means that we can satisfy our legal obligation without impacting our academic and student experience,” they added. “It is our belief that the way forward is to continue to support and strengthen the quality of education for our students now and into the future.”
“Truth still matters, and David has overcome Goliath. While Oberlin College has still refused to admit they were wrong, the jury, a unanimous panel from the court of appeals, and a majority of the Ohio Supreme Court decided otherwise,” the statement continued. “Now, the Gibsons will be able to rebuild the business their family started 137 years ago and keep the lights on for another generation.”
Watch the video below for more details: