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Oberlin Accused the Gibsons of Racism. Now It Owes Them $36 Million.

On November 9, 2016, the day after Trump was elected president, three students from Oberlin College were caught shoplifting wine from Gibson’s Bakery, a local staple that had been around for…

On November 9, 2016, the day after Trump was elected president, three students from Oberlin College were caught shoplifting wine from Gibson’s Bakery, a local staple that had been around for 137 years. Allyn Gibson, who was running the register that night, and who is white, called the cops on the three students, who were black. They fled, he chased them outside of the store, a brawl ensued and the three students were arrested. 

The next day, students, along with Oberlin administrators, began protesting outside the bakery, accusing them of racism. There were signs, and a Student Senate resolution, and articles in the paper, and then, the college canceled its orders with the bakery.  

Months after the three students pleaded guilty, with their business wounded and their reputation destroyed, the Gibsons decided to sue the college for libel. All said and done, the Gibsons were awarded $36 million. 

So far, the school hasn’t paid a penny, continuing to appeal the decision and deny any wrongdoing. This Tuesday, the supreme court of Ohio declined Oberlin’s last appeal, which means that they can either pay, file an appeal for reconsideration, or appeal, again, to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Today, an exclusive sit down with Lorna Gibson, the matriarch of the bakery, about what happens when a powerful college decides to go to battle with your family.  

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