I often ask my students what happens when they are presented with irrefutable evidence that something they believe in, perhaps strongly, is a lie? Are they obligated to change their views to comport with the truth? If they don’t, what are the consequences for them? For society?
Oberlin College, and its students, are like Trayvon Martin believers. Nothing they think they know about the case is true, yet they continue to lie. Many of them have never so much as lifted an eyelash to read anything factual about the case, but they just know Saint Trayvon of Skittles, a budding scholar and aviator, was racially profiled and brutally murdered by a “white-Hispanic” just because he was black, carrying Skittles and tea and wearing a hoodie, and his murderer got off because of racism and the Florida stand your ground law. In the same way, they know the Gibsons are racists. and everyone at Oberlin is morally and intellectually superior and pure.
The social justice narrative of the three black shoplifters at Gibson’s is no more accurate, and Oberlin College and its SJWs in training will never accept the truth. There’s no leftist virtue in that, as I previously noted.
The Gibsons were awarded $33 million dollars in punitive damages and #11 million in compensatory damages. Under applicable state law, this was eventually reduced to just over $25 million dollars. But before we get to the most recent news, let’s review the post-verdict sparring. The indispensable Michelle Malkin, at The Daily Signal, said Oberlin had it coming:
As a right-wing alumna of far-left Oberlin College, I have four words for the administration in response to last week’s ground-breaking $11 million jury verdict in the defaming of humble Gibson’s Bakery:
You had it coming.
I have five more words for Oberlin as arrogant college officials continue their obstinate war on the Gibson family even after the much-deserved courtroom defeat:
You still don’t get it.
Malkin explains why the jury awarded so much:
After the college sent out Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary Donica Thomas Varner’s June 7 email to alumni disparaging the verdict and lying about the basis for the trial, the jury whacked Oberlin’s calumnious crapweasels with an additional $33 million in damages caused by their libel, intentional interference with business and intentional infliction of emotional distress. [skip]
Still, the jury’s message to administrators who incited hatred against Gibson’s is loud and clear: Stop the racial smears.
Understanding the jury had not yet awarded damages, Oberlin, caught up in its self-righteous racism and hatred for normal Americans, lied and virtue signaled, and it cost them dearly. Here’s an e-mail Oberlin President Carmen Twillie Ambar sent out to alumni and supporters:
Dear Members of the Oberlin Community,
As the public discourse around the lawsuit from Gibson’s Bakery continues, many of you may have questions. It is important, as we engage in these discussions both internally and externally, that we have a shared set of facts. Oberlin has been scrupulous over the last two and a half years in its efforts to honor the legal process. As part of that deference, we have avoided any public comments that could be seen as an attempt to prejudice the legal process or litigate our case through the media.
Now that a jury has rendered its verdict and the legal process has entered a new stage, it is both more appropriate and important that we be as transparent as we can about the events at the heart of this lawsuit, the suit itself, the path that lies ahead, and the values at stake—for Oberlin and for higher education more broadly. In that spirit, we would like to offer a Frequently Asked Questions document that begins to address some of your concerns and brings to the fore the facts. I would encourage you to read them thoroughly.
We will have much more to say as this process moves forward, and we will continue to listen closely to your questions, addressing them as best we can. More information will follow as we provide you with an opportunity in the coming days to ask questions in real time through our Phonecast technology.
While the below link to the FAQs gives you more details, cutting through the noise, this matter is about an incident that occurred at Gibson’s Bakery which resulted in students choosing to protest. The students may have been right or they may have been wrong about the details surrounding the incident, but demonstrating is their constitutional right. As always, the College insisted that the demonstrations be supervised, to protect all sides and the entire community from violence and property damage. While we deeply value the jury’s work, we do not believe that case law supports the jury’s determination that Oberlin should be held liable for the speech and actions of its students. To do so is to erode a fundamental constitutional right.
Despite this belief, we also know that there are lessons to be learned from this verdict and areas where the College can improve. This lawsuit has been hard on Oberlin College and Conservatory, the Gibsons, our students, faculty, and staff, our town, and all who care about us. We will take this moment in our history to absorb the valuable lessons it imparts. We also recognize that we have a great deal of work to do to heal these scars and build trust throughout our extended community. We approach that imperative with humility. We approach it, too, with optimism that we will emerge from this episode stronger—stronger as an institution, stronger in our relationship with our neighbors, and stronger in our service to the region, the nation, and the world.
Carmen Twillie Ambar
To this day, Ambar has pushed one outrageous big lie: Oberlin was punished for the free speech of students. This is leftist reality. In real reality, Oberlin lost because its officers attempted to destroy the reputations and lives of a decent local family. They were punished for their malicious libel of the Gibsons. No students were sued; they were never a part of the case. Legal Insurrection, the authority on this case, doing the work the media refuses to do, has a helpful post exposing Oberlin’s lies for what they are, and telling the truth based on the trial record. Taking the link for answers to frequently asked questions prepared by the Gibson’s attorneys is an excellent way to understand the jury’s unanimous decision. It’s not unsupportable opinion, but the actual evidence heard by the jury. Here’s an example of an Oberlin administrator who demanded Gibson’s drop charges against the three shoplifting students, and threatened Gibson’s longstanding business with the college:
This by Dean Meredith Raimondo demonstrates just how deeply she was involved, and the depth of her disdain for the Gibsons:
This is only one example of what convinced the jury of Oberlin’s guilt:
Again, read the FAQ, which conclusively demonstrate Oberlin officials directed and supported the student’s protests, including intimidating citizens and media photographers trying to take photos of the event. Most recently, the court awarded the Gibsons and their attorneys $6.5 million in attorney’s fees and expenses. Considering how much could have been awarded, Oberlin got off lightly.
And now, Prof. Jacobson at LI reports Oberlin is pleading poverty:
The $25 million damages judgment plus the over $6.5 million attorney’s fees and expenses award, puts Oberlin College almost $32 million in debt to Gibson’s Bakery and its owners.
Post-judgment interest in Ohio is 5%, which if my math is correct, on $32 million equals $1.6 million a year just in interest, or $4,384 per day. So that $32 million is going to keep growing as the inevitable appeal winds its way through the courts.
Interest aside, Oberlin College doesn’t want Gibson’s Bakery to start collecting the judgment by seizing bank accounts, college equipment, and anything else they can get their hands on.
Not surprisingly, Oberlin College has filed a Motion for a Stay of Execution of Judgment (pdf.)(full embed at bottom of post). The motion also requests that Oberlin College not be required to post a bond to secure the judgment while the trial court rules on post-trial motions Oberlin College says it will be filing.
Here is Oberlin College’s key argument:
‘Defendants intend to file motions under Civ.R. 50, 59, and/or 60. And per the express provisions of Civ.R. 62(A), a stay of execution may be issued at any time after a judgment is issued and before the time for filing motions pursuant to Civ.R. 50, 59, and 60 and while such motions are pending.
Defendants further respectfully request that they not be required to post a bond in the amount of the Judgment at this time. In the event that Defendants’ post-trial motions are not successful and require Defendants to appeal, Defendants will then file a supersedeas bond as required by Civ.R. 62(B) at the time Defendants file their notice of appeal. This supersedeas bond, if necessary, will be in the amount of the Judgment, plus any additional amount that may potentially be awarded by the Court in attorneys’ fees.’
Oberlin has an endowment of nearly a billion dollars and is obviously trying to find some way to get out of paying for their offenses. However, Judge John Miraldi didn’t fall for it:
Judge John Miraldi has ruled, entering an order that grants the stay of execution, but conditions it on Oberlin College posting a $36,367,711.56 bond, the full amount requested by the Gibsons. That amount includes three years of future interest.
Clearly, Ohio Civ. R. 62(A) gives the Court great discretion in determining what conditions, if any, are proper to grant a stay of execution of the judgment and to afford security to the Plaintiffs. After considering the Parties respective briefs, the attached exhibits, and applicable precedent the Court hereby orders that the judgment is stayed, as of the date of this entry, subject to the following conditions:
1) Within seven (7) days, Defendants shall post a bond in the amount of $36,367,711.56. Failure to timely post the bond shall result in the stay being terminated. Timely posting of the bond shall stay the judgment until August 19, 2019;
2) If Defendants timely file their post-trial motions on or before August 19, 2019, the stay shall be extended until September 9, 2019. Plaintiffs shall have fourteen (14) days to respond to any post-trial motions and no reply briefs shall be accepted. The Court will rule on Defendants’ motions by September 9, 2019. See Local Rule 9(/1).
Obviously, the judge has a trust issue where Oberlin is concerned, as well he should.
As always, the LI story has complete links to the relevant documents/arguments. Also take this link to another LI story about the human cost of Oberlin’s Leftist hatred. From an op-ed by David Gibson about his 91 year-old father:
As the extended legal battle dragged on, many asked why I didn’t just quit. Wouldn’t it be easier to close up shop and move on?
What few understand is that this situation not only affected our business; it touched every aspect of our lives.
In the end, the words of my father inspired me to continue the fight. He said, ‘In my life, I’ve done everything I could to treat all people with dignity and respect. And now, nearing the end of my life, I’m going to die being labeled as a racist.’
There wasn’t enough time, he feared, to set the record straight. His legacy had been tarnished and he felt powerless to stop it. I had to see this case through.
This experience has taught me that reputations are a fragile thing. They take a lifetime to build, but only moments to destroy.
Oberlin lost because the supposed adults in charge, who are actually adolescents pandering to the tantrums of the infants attending their day care, see what they do not as a college, but a cause, a political/social philosophy that overrides any other consideration. Whatever scant education that takes place there is at the service of spreading a hateful ideology. As LI reported, former Oberlin College President S. Frederick Starr took the current administration to task:
The crusade against Gibson’s bakery is incompatible with the college of Millikan, Sperry and Hall. But if only in some uncanny and unconscious way, the attacks on Gibson’s recall Finney’s squinty-eyed hounding of enemies. Few if any students, administrators or trustees know anything about Finney, and today’s zealots are militantly secular. Yet they concur with each other and with Finney on the need for enemies, even if the enemy du jour is a small family business that has happily thrived in Lorain County, Ohio, for 130 years. Could anything be more bluntly at odds with Johann Friedrich Oberlin, who devoted his life to serving humble parishioners?
What can Oberlin do to reclaim its better self? That’s ultimately a question for the college’s trustees, faculty, alumni and students. But there is a common-sense answer that would probably seem obvious to most anyone in Lorain County or any of a thousand smaller communities around the country: Pay the court’s judgment, don’t fight it; apologize to the Gibson family and to the community and take steps to show you mean it; and then calmly think through all that has happened and do whatever is necessary to reaffirm the institution’s identity as a college, not a cause.
Oberlin has shown not the slightest inclination to take Starr’s wise counsel. But why not? Leftist arrogance and virtue signaling.
Contemporary colleges are one of the primary purveyors of the socialist/communist ideology. They see themselves as causes, not colleges. Those that work there–administrators even more than most professors–see themselves as uniquely brilliant and indispensable, enlightened beings whose intellectual and moral superiority empowers them to change the world in their image.
They, and their ideas, can never be wrong. How can perfection be less than perfect? They are unable to see fault in themselves and their ideology, but see it everywhere else. As Mark Twain said: “nothing so needs reforming as other people’s habits,” and they think themselves the right people to accomplish that reform, whether those to be reformed like it or not. the rule of law, you see, doesn’t apply to them because their end justifies any means.
Even so, they fail, constantly. When that happens, they double down on stupid. They scream “racist!” as they did in this case, and because they cannot admit error, they focus their hatred on others, blaming everyone and anyone for their own failures, their own inability to deal with reality. Because they have so fully infiltrated virtually every element of our culture, that usually works, but not here, not in this case.
The normals demanded adherence to real reality. They voted the wrong way. They didn’t let Oberlin win because the moral reprobates running it are so morally and intellectually superior. This time, the common man, the little people, the non-elite, were able to rely upon the rule of law. Social justice–thank the Lord–failed. I admit to taking some small pleasure at what surely must be the confusion and red-faced, spitting rage of the Oberlin self-imagined elite. It couldn’t have happened to worse people.
Will the Gibsons eventually get the justice due them? I’ll report as the case continues.