In a recent Blog Posting, I used this word string… “My postings are all about Silliness, Foolishness, Goofiness, Folly, Absurdity and such”.
After you have read this Blog Posting, I hope you will agree that this modified word string is appropriate… “ My postings are all about Silliness, Foolishness, Goofiness, Folly, Absurdity like what happens at Oberlin College”.
Oberlin College is being run by the Silly People who are supposed to be preparing Silly Students for the real world.
To complicate things even further Oberlin’s Silly Students have been bombarding administrators with endless demands for accommodations like these…
• Abolish midterms.
• Ban grades below C.
• An $8.20 hourly wage for engaging in activism.
• Addition of “trigger warnings” to classic literature (Yes, I had to look up “Trigger Warnings”)…
>> Definition of Trigger Warning: a statement cautioning that content (as in a text, video, or class) may be disturbing or upsetting. Colleges across the country have been wrestling with student requests for what are known as “trigger warnings”. These are explicit alerts that the material they are about to read or see in a classroom might upset them or, as some students assert, cause symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Victims of Rape or in War Veterans.
Here come the Bullet Points…
• On Nov. 9, 2016, an African-American male Oberlin student attempted to buy wine from Gibson’s Bakery using a fake ID.
• A grandson of the shop’s owner refused to sell the underage customer alcohol.
• The grandson then noticed the student had two bottles of wine concealed under his shirt.
• The grandson called the police.
• The student fled and dropped the bottles on the floor as he fled.
• A scuffle ensued when grandson pursued him.
• Two African-American female Oberlin students, apparently accomplices of the suspect, joined in the physical confrontation.
• When police arrived on the scene, the three were beating Mr. Gibson on the ground.
• None of these facts was ever in dispute, even among the three suspects…
>>They all pleaded guilty to an array of charges.
>>The first suspect swore in his plea statement that Mr. Gibson “was within his legal rights” to detain him.
>>He also swore he did not believe Gibson’s actions were racially motivated.
That’s the name of that tune. Open and shut case. That’s how the cow eat the cabbage…Or is it?
• Oberlin students organized and began a campaign alleging these suspects were actually victims of racial profiling.
• Students launched a campaign to destroy Gibson’s Bakery, a fifth-generation family business that had served the Oberlin community for more than 130 years.
• Students organized protests and distributed leaflets accusing the Gibson family of racism.
• Students worked with school administrators to impose financial sanctions on the bakery.
• Demonstrations became so aggressive that police say they considered calling the riot squad to restore order.
• Oberlin administrators agreed to boycott Gibson’s, which had long held catering contracts with the college’s dining service.
• Oberlin administrators allowed students to skip class to participate in protests.
• One of Oberlin’s Deans handed out a flier accusing Gibson’s of having a “long account of racial profiling and discrimination”.
• College copy machines were used to print up the flier.
• College Administrators told the Gibsons they’d reinstate the catering contract if they dropped charges against the 3 shoplifting students and promised to contact the school, not police, if other students stole from their store in the future.
>>This is Fella…Wow! They anticipated more theft by their students. I wonder if the College ever told the students that theft was wrong.
• Ignoring the facts, the College and Students attempted to destroy a business without concern for the damage they were inflicting on a family and workers in their own community.
The Gibson Family went to court and showed that using the legal system, it is possible to fight back and win.
For Oberlin, it didn’t have to end this way. At the height of the controversy, the Gibson family says it asked the school to send a letter to students reiterating what had already become clear: The bakery didn’t engage in racial profiling.
Oberlin refused the offer. Had the college agreed to refute the baseless claims of racism, it is unlikely that the Gibson family would have pursued the matter in court.
The amount of money awarded is certainly a big story but it is far from the only big story. The jury spoke loudly when it held accountable a college that had lost concern for the lives of working people in its community.
Would I kid u?
Lagniappe: In researching for this Blog Posting I came across the courses that have been taught by one of the Key Professors in this whole crazy affair. I know I am old fashioned but I don’t have a lot of respect for the preparation for the real world that these courses of instruction will impart to the Knowledge Seekers being “educated” at Oberlin College…
• Gender and Sexuality
• Race and Ethnicity Studies
• Social Justice
Whatever happened to Reading, Writing and Rithmatic?
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