The Oberlin Review

Reflecting On David Gibson’s Passing

Booker C. Peek, Professor Emeritus of Africana Studies

November 22, 2019

 David Gibson, co-owner of Gibson’s Bakery, succumbed to pancreatic cancer last Saturday; he leaves behind a grieving and loving family of a wife, two children, and “Grandpa Gibson,” who is approaching 92, a special man still full of warmth, respect, and kindness — traits David himself embodied to the end. David’s sense of fairness, level-headedness, and endless search for the truth will be sorely missed. I join all who knew David in sending heartfelt condolences and prayers to his survivors as they mourn his passing. David is in Heaven, a most secure place where there is nothing but peace; a garden with beautiful flowers; a majestic eternity in which all knowledge resides and all questions are answered cor...

Oberlin, Gibson’s Should Forgive and Forget

Booker C. Peek, Professor Emeritus of Africana Studies

November 15, 2019

 Legally, there will be one winner and one loser in the lawsuit filed by Gibson’s Bakery against Oberlin College. But on all other levels — reputation, emotional, historical — Gibson’s, the College, and the City of Oberlin will suffer from the devastating effects for generations to come. Are there no prayers or people capable of getting the two sides and their reinforced, high-powered lawyers to settle their differences privately? The answer some may give is “no.” The bridge for a settlement has crumbled. As the dispute heads to an appellate court, to hope for a miracle is similar to asking that a long-anticipated Super Bowl game not be played and opting instead for a coin-flip to determine the winner. A...

Community Healing More Important Now Than Ever

Booker C. Peek, Emeritus Professor of Africana Studies

September 20, 2019

 Almost two years ago, in 2017, I wrote you pleading for Oberlin College to seek an out-of-court settlement with the Gibson family (“Gibson’s Links Black People to Anti-Semitism,” The Oberlin Review, Dec. 1, 2017). But nothing seemed to take place until it was announced in April that efforts had failed and that the case was going to trial this past May. It did, and the jury ruled in favor of the Gibson family. Last week, I wrote again hoping that Oberlin College would appeal the local jury’s decision to award millions of dollars to the Gibson family (“College Should Respect Any Future Appeal Decision,” The Oberlin Review, Sept. 13, 2019). But after receiving more information, I urge the College to tr...

College Should Respect Any Future Appeal Decision

Booker C. Peek, Emeritus Professor of Africana Studies

September 13, 2019

 Oberlin College should pay the Gibson family a lot more than the almost $25 million that the very fine Lorain County jury awarded if it is a fact that former President Marvin Krislov and Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo aided and abetted the student demonstrators to engage in activities intended to bankrupt the Gibson family because the Gibsons are racist. Oberlin College should appeal this verdict. Replays in sports give officials a chance to make sure they made the right call. When the action is shown 10 or 20 times slower from every possible angle, sometimes the original decision is left to stand, and sometimes it is reversed. No matter the final call, some remain unhappy, while others ar...

Founding Fathers Would Approve of AR-15 Sales

Jacob Britton

March 2, 2018

To the Editors: This letter is a response to the op-ed by Booker C. Peek regarding AR-15s and Constitutional law (“Constitution Does Not Automatically Permit AR-15s,” The Oberlin Review, Feb. 23, 2018). Toward the beginning of their case, Peek briefly reflects on the tragic mass shooting in Florida. As someone who was born and raised in Florida, I certainly share my condolences with the families of the victims, and I understand why many people are pushing for gun legislation and Constitutional amendments on assault weapons. As a person who shares Peek’s sympathy for the victims of mass shootings, I think it is important to also use those feelings to properly assess solutions while preserving Constitutional law. K...

Perspective Important in Gibson’s Case

Kevin Adler, OC ’84

December 8, 2017

To the Editors: I’m writing to disagree with almost everything in Booker C. Peek’s recent opinion column, “Oberlin, Gibson’s Should Settle Out-of-Court” (The Oberlin Review, Dec. 1, 2017). I laughed at Peek’s opening comment that the lawsuit “has the potential to be earth-shattering.” Really? Let’s maintain some perspective here. This is a tempest in a teapot, a tiny incident at a small college. Potentially earth-shattering would be President Trump’s brinksmanship with North Korea, or the increasing severity of tropical storms fueled by global climate change. Those are earth-shattering issues that Oberlin and its students should be addressing. Peek also writes about the damage of a financial settlement. Ma...

Executive Order Threatens U.S.

Booker C. Peek, Emeritus Associate Professor of Africana Studies

February 3, 2017

To the Editors: To date, it has been American citizens who have slaughtered masses of people in this country, except on 9/11 when 19 foreigners, mostly Saudis, attacked the U.S. Because of the Internet, those outside the U.S. wishing to do us harm do not have to travel here; they can from anywhere in the world inspire Americans to kill Americans, and they have succeeded. All agree that we must do everything legally possible to reduce the chances that more Americans will be radicalized; it’s the lone wolf, an American citizen among us, that poses the greatest threat to our security. We are much safer if American citizens band together to notify authorities of those among us who might hurt us. The Presidential ban ...

Obamacare Needs Clinton’s Reforms

Booker C. Peek, Emeritus Associate Professor of Africana Studies

November 4, 2016

To the Editors: As decent as Barack Obama was, most white Americans did not vote for him even though they had two chances — first in 2008 and again in 2012. The reason that they did not vote for the first black president was, arguably, possibly due more to their disagreement with his policies than with the fact that he was black. Hillary Clinton, the first female to be a major party’s top nominee for the presidency, may get close to 90 percent of the black vote. Her policies are much closer to Obama’s than to Donald Trump’s. But they are quite different. On the one hand, she definitely intends to support the concept of Obamacare, that rather unbelievable notion that all Americans should have access to good med...

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