The Oberlin Review

Media Coverage of Gibson’s Verdict Misses the Mark

Editorial Board

June 18, 2019

Editor's note: Due to the scope of national media attention, the Review took the extraordinary step of covering the Gibson's verdict outside of normal publication dates. Because of limited staff capacity, the Review does not moderate comments during the summer, and letters to the editors in response to any article will be reviewed for publication in the fall. Please direct any questions to [email protected] Earlier this month, a jury awarded Gibson’s Bakery $11 million following a month-long trial stemming from the bakery’s lawsuit against Oberlin College and Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo. Then, last Thursday, it added $33 million in punitive damages. This stunning decision ...

Jury Rules For Gibson’s, Assigns $44 Million in Damages

Jury Rules For Gibson’s, Assigns $44 Million in Damages

June 14, 2019

Editor's note: Due to the scope of national media attention, the Review took the extraordinary step of covering the Gibson's verdict outside of normal publication dates. Because of limited staff capacity, the Review does not moderate comments during the summer, and letters to the editors in response to any article will be reviewed for publication in the fall. Please direct any questions to [email protected] The Lorain County jury overseeing the trial between Gibson’s Bakery and Ob...

Gibson’s Lawsuit Will Go To Trial

Gibson’s Lawsuit Will Go To Trial

April 26, 2019

After 18 months of negotiation and discovery research, the lawsuit that Gibson’s Bakery and Food Mart brought against Oberlin College and Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo could go to trial early next month, unless a settlement is reached in the next week. Gibson’s filed the suit in November 2017, accusing the College and Raimondo of libel, slander, interference with business relationships, intentional interference with contracts, deceptive trade practices, intentional infliction of...

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...

Gibson’s Links Black People to Anti-Semitism

Booker C. Peek, Emeritus Associate Professor of Africana Studies

December 1, 2017

To the Editors: As the founding fathers of Oberlin College and Arthur Tappan, whose name Tappan Square bears because of his much-needed financial support of the College, would have wanted, Oberlin remains America’s most luminous beacon for a more just, peaceful, and humane world. As much as the Founding Fathers of our nation will always have our admiration, they showed a serious human weakness in their subjugation of women and willingness to enslave Blacks. As women throughout America need us all to step up to fight against sexism, so do Blacks need all Americans to help us fight against racism. But the middle-aged white men who feel hurt and abandoned — a disproportionate number of whom commit suicide — also need our f...

Oberlin, Gibson’s Should Settle Out-of-Court

Booker C. Peek, Contributing Writer

November 17, 2017

We should all root for a quick out-of-court resolution between Gibson’s Bakery and Oberlin College. It can be exciting for us to root for our favorite teams; that is what sports are all about. We may debate who the greatest composer is, the finest painter, or the best dancer. Having all those options is what we enjoy in America, along with the right not to take part at all. But there are times when the outcome of a matter affects us quite profoundly. This lawsuit is not a sporting event; its outcome has the potential to be earth-shattering. The founders of the College settled in a wilderness in the 19th century, a site where there were no humans at all. In the intervening period — more than 150 years — we have...

Gibson’s Files Lawsuit Against College, Raimondo

Gibson’s Files Lawsuit Against College, Raimondo

November 10, 2017

David and Allyn Gibson, the father and son co-owners of Gibson’s Bakery in downtown Oberlin, filed a lawsuit against Oberlin College and Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo in the Lorain County Common Pleas Court on Tuesday. The lawsuit stems from a series of protests and boycotts directed at Gibson’s after an alleged incident of racial profiling and student shoplifting. The Gibsons allege eight counts against the defendants, including accusations of libel, intentional infliction...

Students Should Not Engage Gibson’s as Lawsuit Ensues

Editorial Board

November 10, 2017

“When they go low, we go high.” This quote by Michelle Obama became an overused and often cringe-inducing centerpiece of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. But there is a lot of truth and power in Obama’s words, which can serve as a meaningful guide for the Oberlin College community now searching for a response to news of a lawsuit recently filed by Gibson’s Bakery against the College and Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo. News of the lawsuit — which is meant to bully and intimidate College students, faculty, and staff, and can be read in full on the Review’s website — was relayed to the College community almost exactly one year after students initiated a protest agai...

Gibson’s Trial Ends After 10-Month Legal Battle

Sydney Allen and Jack Rockwell

September 1, 2017

Three Oberlin College students who had been locked in a legal battle with Allyn and David Gibson of Gibson’s Bakery and Food Market since November 2016 reached a plea deal with Elyria prosecutors Aug. 14. All three students, junior Elijah Aladin and sophomores Endia Lawrence and Cecelia Whettstone, pleaded guilty at the trial and received misdemeanor charges and a fine. Aladin pleaded guilty to attempted theft, aggravated trespassing, and underage purchase of alcohol. Lawrence and Whettstone each pleaded guilty to attempted theft and aggravated trespassing. Throughout the case, Aladin maintained that he was innocent of theft and robbery, stating that the fake ID he was charged for possessing was explicit proof...

College, Gibson’s Resume Business As Trials Ensue

Louis Krauss, News Editor

February 3, 2017

Following last semester’s arrest of College sophomore Elijah Aladin, which sparked intense protests in light of accusations of racial profiling, Aladin is once again facing felony charges and could be indicted by a Lorain County grand jury. Aladin was arrested Nov. 11 following an alleged shoplifting incident and was charged with robbery, a felony charge, when the situation escalated to a physical altercation between him and employee Allyn Gibson. In the most recent development, Aladin was expected to receive a misdemeanor charge for pleading guilty to shoplifting after both his lawyer and City Prosecutor Frank Carlson agreed to drop the felony charges as part of a diversion program. However, municipal court...

Students Must Reject Elitism to Engage Conservatives

Tom Cohn, Contributing Writer

November 18, 2016

In the wake of the election there have been a chilling number of reports of white supremacist and misogynistic intimidation, harassment and even physical violence by emboldened Trump supporters. Oberlin students, via the Gibson’s boycott and protest, have come into direct contact with people on the other side of the political spectrum who seem similarly emboldened. Take, for example, the creepy and abusive “Gibson’s Bakery Support Page” on Facebook, which was created in opposition to the protest and actively attempted to identify participating students. Gibson’s online supporters also echoed Trump’s authoritarian rhetoric when they referred to the student boycott as “libel and defamation” and encourage...

Activism Should Cultivate Broader Solidarity

Jade Schiff, Contributing Writer

November 18, 2016

I was both heartened and worried by the protests outside of Gibson’s over the past few days, a response to the assault and arrest of an African-American student near the store earlier this week. I was heartened because they reflected our students’ and our institution’s fierce commitment to social justice, freedom, equality and human dignity. We all share a responsibility to reaffirm these commitments every day, and I was proud to see our students doing that. I was worried, however, by two things: first, by a sense that these protests were oddly displaced. There is something incongruous about shouting “No justice, no peace! No racist police!” outside a family-owned business that serves the needs not just of wh...

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