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Thread: Oberlin College

  1. #1

    Default Oberlin College

    https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=13311

    Oberlin College has to pay $11 million in damages after a bakery won a lawsuit alleging the school defamed or otherwise libeled the family-owned shop.

    The lawsuit, filed by the Gibson’s Bakery shop in November 2017, was settled this week when an Ohio jury ordered Oberlin College to pay $11 million to the bakery after being accused of libelous behavior. Following an attempt to shoplift from the local bakery, the lawsuit alleged that Oberlin employees -- and the institution itself -- spread defamatory information against the bakery for allegedly racist behavior.

    In Nov. 2016, an Oberlin student, Jonathan Aladin, was caught attempting to steal wine from the bakery. Two other individuals, according to the lawsuit, were also arrested and accused of misdemeanor assault during the same altercation.

    In response to the arrests, protests and boycotts against Gibson’s bakery ensued with protesters accusing the store of being racist as Aladin is a minority. Reportedly, numerous employees of Oberlin attended these protests, passing out allegedly libelous flyers which read: “[Gibson’s] is a RACIST establishment with a LONG ACCOUNT of RACIAL PROFILING and DISCRIMINATION.”

    In addition to accusing the bakery of racist behavior, the flyer called for an economic boycott as well.

    ------

    "A handful of self-agitated students tried to make something out of nothing," Wood continued. "Oberlin administrators stepped in to assist them, ideologically and logistically. Oberlin didn't count on real people fighting back. The Gibson family had a powerful story to tell. Oberlin College had only supercilious attitude, which it put on display in its court pleadings, and which it continued to display in its letter to alumni."

    Wood called for the college's administration to be "held to account" for "creating the climate" in which this incident occurred.



    Awesome verdict! However a big concern is while the college has been properly chastised for their absurd behavior, the students have not been. It would be great if some of the students get named in a separate law suit. At the very least their names will be made public so companies will know to stay very well clear of them.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    Awesome verdict! However a big concern is while the college has been properly chastised for their absurd behavior, the students have not been. It would be great if some of the students get named in a separate law suit. At the very least their names will be made public so companies will know to stay very well clear of them.
    Now didn't you just say you were AGAINST doxxing and personal harrassment? But I forget, it's only a problem when it's supposed "liberals" doing it to conservatives. If it's being done to anyone who isn't a white male middle or upper-class Republican it's fine.
    Last night as I lay in bed, looking up at the stars, I thought, “Where the hell is my ceiling?"

  3. #3
    "National Association of Scholars"
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    "National Association of Scholars"
    Surprise surpise, another group of highly hypocritical conservatives. Oppose affirmative action unless it increases conservative representation. They're against colleges refusing to give people like Milo Yiannopoulos the time of day, but have attacked civil rights readings in english classes, fought against multicultural course offerings, and attacked a socially active newspaper.
    Just another racist, sexist and homophobic group.

    Christ, even the website Lewk picked is a mess of conservative hypocrisy.
    "In a field where an overlooked bug could cost millions, you want people who will speak their minds, even if they’re sometimes obnoxious about it."

  5. #5
    I don't even care, these puffed up idiots are just so ludicrous... and the way the article quotes them... lmao
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  6. #6
    Shocking that Lewk left out key information, including the fact that the university itself didn't make any statements or take any actions against the business in question.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/evanger.../#1cdeffc1534b
    Hope is the denial of reality

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    Shocking that Lewk left out key information, including the fact that the university itself didn't make any statements or take any actions against the business in question.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/evanger.../#1cdeffc1534b
    I'm actually kinda with the jury on this one. School officials were involved.
    Gibson’s attorneys also made much of the fact that some Oberlin administrators attended the protests. But, of course, Oberlin would want to have a presence at the protests to ensure both student safety and that students were respecting the law. This verdict tells colleges that if they send administrators to watch out for student safety they can be sued for millions of dollars. That is not in anybody’s best interests.
    The author of the piece is trying to have it both ways here and it doesn't work that way. If their administrators maintain a presence to control the students or keep an eye on them, then they are there officially for the school, it is involved in the activity, and it can be held liable for its involvement.
    I'm also not terribly convinced that the school can't be held liable for the acts of its student government, leastwise not if it hasn't explicitly disavowed/rebuked those acts. The student government IS an official body of the school. Pretty low on the totem pole, but an organ with standing nonetheless.
    Is the jury award ridiculously high? Yes, absolutely. And it will get reduced in further proceedings. But Oberlin earned the verdict against them. And it courted the high penalties with its hubris and grandstanding. They damned well ought to have had the good sense to settle considering the wrongdoing was coming from their direction, not the bakery's. They deserve to have to make a multi-million payout for that alone.
    Last night as I lay in bed, looking up at the stars, I thought, “Where the hell is my ceiling?"

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by LittleFuzzy View Post
    The author of the piece is trying to have it both ways here and it doesn't work that way. If their administrators maintain a presence to control the students or keep an eye on them, then they are there officially for the school, it is involved in the activity, and it can be held liable for its involvement.
    I'm also not terribly convinced that the school can't be held liable for the acts of its student government, leastwise not if it hasn't explicitly disavowed/rebuked those acts. The student government IS an official body of the school. Pretty low on the totem pole, but an organ with standing nonetheless.
    Is the jury award ridiculously high? Yes, absolutely. And it will get reduced in further proceedings. But Oberlin earned the verdict against them. And it courted the high penalties with its hubris and grandstanding. They damned well ought to have had the good sense to settle considering the wrongdoing was coming from their direction, not the bakery's. They deserve to have to make a multi-million payout for that alone.
    Were the admins there in an official capacity? If not (especially if it's outside working hours), how can you blame the college for the actions of individuals within it?

    Student governments propose crazy stuff all the time. If colleges could be sued for millions each time some dumb, power-hungry 20-year-old decides to make a statement, the lawsuits will never stop. At best, you could say it's an advisory organ. Unless something is coming from the office of the president, provost, or a dean, I don't see how you can count it as officially representing the college. Fair point about the college not rebuking those acts, but again, student governments do stupid stuff all the time. Not enough time to rebuke all of them.

    And yes, a lot of people in Oberlin who should have known better acted like assholes. One would hope that they personally pay a price for that.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    Awesome verdict! However a big concern is while the college has been properly chastised for their absurd behavior, the students have not been. It would be great if some of the students get named in a separate law suit. At the very least their names will be made public so companies will know to stay very well clear of them.
    You want companies to keep a list of students named in civil law suits....so they can deny them service?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    Were the admins there in an official capacity? If not (especially if it's outside working hours), how can you blame the college for the actions of individuals within it?
    "of course, Oberlin would want to have a presence at the protests to ensure both student safety and that students were respecting the law"

    That is being there in an official capacity whether they're on the clock or not. Because without that official capacity, they have no standing to oversee the students in the first place. Being private participants is potentially a different matter but the defense I keep seeing isn't one of private participation (faculty, OTOH, clearly did involve themselves privately). And there are also limits to the plausibility of "individuals acting privately." And while I always bear in mind that juries are generally stupid (and a jury of "peers" in this case might well have biases to grind) another thing that outside observers such as ourselves should always keep at the front of our minds when looking at such trials is that WE see way less of the evidence than the jury did too.

    Student governments propose crazy stuff all the time. If colleges could be sued for millions each time some dumb, power-hungry 20-year-old decides to make a statement, the lawsuits will never stop. At best, you could say it's an advisory organ. Unless something is coming from the office of the president, provost, or a dean, I don't see how you can count it as officially representing the college. Fair point about the college not rebuking those acts, but again, student governments do stupid stuff all the time. Not enough time to rebuke all of them.
    You don't need to rebuke all of them. Just the ones which aggravate or discommode the university. And schools routinely kick their student governments in the teeth all the time when they've managed to do so. The time to kick these guys in the teeth came when the lawsuit got filed, if not before. Oberlin signally failed to act to mitigate or reduce their liability. And it did exist there because student governments are routinely used and recognized to represent the school in all kinds of ways. As I said, they're pretty near the bottom when it comes to official organs but they remain an official organ
    Last night as I lay in bed, looking up at the stars, I thought, “Where the hell is my ceiling?"

  11. #11
    I also sorta side with the jury but wonder about the free speech implications here. I suppose institutions can libel and that's basically what happened here, but saying stupid things isn't and shouldn't be against the law.

  12. #12
    Good article here: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/ar...erdict/591379/

    "Our era, defined in large part by the rise of social media, is exposing us to many more instances of possibly defamatory speech, with more frequency, prompting closer examination of long-standing norms. The conditions are ripe for cultural change. And jury verdicts in the next stretch of years will both reflect and drive it.

    ...I celebrate the happy ending for the Gibsons, but not without some trepidation about the downsides of adjudicating culture-war fights or the proper administration of America’s colleges in court, where extreme cases can mean cathartic outcomes and bad law. It would be a shame if jurors intent on vindicating the wrongly maligned wound up severely chilling protected speech too."

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by LittleFuzzy View Post
    Now didn't you just say you were AGAINST doxxing and personal harrassment? But I forget, it's only a problem when it's supposed "liberals" doing it to conservatives. If it's being done to anyone who isn't a white male middle or upper-class Republican it's fine.
    Doxing isn't OK. Filing law suits against people who have wronged you for legitimate violations to your brand is completely different.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnaught View Post
    I also sorta side with the jury but wonder about the free speech implications here. I suppose institutions can libel and that's basically what happened here, but saying stupid things isn't and shouldn't be against the law.
    Dread - there is a difference between saying stupid things and maliciously tarring someone's brand (which is worth money) with false statements. If McDonalds did an ad campaign about Burger King putting rat poison in their fries they would be in deep shit. This is what Oberlin did.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    Doxing isn't OK. Filing law suits against people who have wronged you for legitimate violations to your brand is completely different.
    You didn't answer my question. Why is it OK for businesses to 'keep lists' of people named in (pending) civil law suits, and deny them service?

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    Doxing isn't OK. Filing law suits against people who have wronged you for legitimate violations to your brand is completely different.
    But that's not what you said you were looking for.
    "At the very least their names will be made public so companies will know to stay very well clear of them."
    Nothing there about the bakery. You want every person who joined in the protest publicly identified so companies and the world in general can have a go at them in any way they like (and NOT the bakery because you explicitly made it about the business world in general). Doxing and harassment.
    Last night as I lay in bed, looking up at the stars, I thought, “Where the hell is my ceiling?"

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by LittleFuzzy View Post
    But that's not what you said you were looking for.
    "At the very least their names will be made public so companies will know to stay very well clear of them."
    Nothing there about the bakery. You want every person who joined in the protest publicly identified so companies and the world in general can have a go at them in any way they like (and NOT the bakery because you explicitly made it about the business world in general). Doxing and harassment.
    Only you would think a name being brought in a legal court case is doxing. And not hiring someone isn't harassment, do you even know what the word means?

  18. #18
    Lewk is probably busy looking to justify his statements with comments made by Hannity or Limbaugh, so we may have to wait a while before he replies (with anything cogent)

    He's not really concerned about free speech nuances, or libel/defamation law suits adjudicated in courts, just retribution for the "liberals" he loves to hate.

  19. #19
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doxing

    Also, not hiring someone simply because they're named in a civil suit can be considered employment discrimination. Just ask anyone involved in a divorce proceeding about that.
    Last edited by GGT; 06-17-2019 at 03:10 AM.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    Only you would think a name being brought in a legal court case is doxing. And not hiring someone isn't harassment, do you even know what the word means?
    News flash, Lewk. People who "dox" do so primarily by getting information from publicly available sources and then disseminating it more broadly. Exactly what you want to see happen here. It's not any kind of illegal, it's just slimey, intrusive, and dangerous. And yeah, your grounds for refusal to hire is discrimination and harassment, it has nothing to do with the behavior engaged in or their prospective duties as employees. You just want to see them punished because of the narrative they chose to believe. Again, slimey, intrusive and dangerous
    Last night as I lay in bed, looking up at the stars, I thought, “Where the hell is my ceiling?"

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by LittleFuzzy View Post
    News flash, Lewk. People who "dox" do so primarily by getting information from publicly available sources and then disseminating it more broadly. Exactly what you want to see happen here. It's not any kind of illegal, it's just slimey, intrusive, and dangerous. And yeah, your grounds for refusal to hire is discrimination and harassment, it has nothing to do with the behavior engaged in or their prospective duties as employees. You just want to see them punished because of the narrative they chose to believe. Again, slimey, intrusive and dangerous
    Not hiring someone is not harassment. Holy shit you are doubling down on stupid.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    Not hiring someone is not harassment. Holy shit you are doubling down on stupid.
    It's not typically harassment, no. You can take it into harassing territory though, and you're doing your best to drag it there.
    Last night as I lay in bed, looking up at the stars, I thought, “Where the hell is my ceiling?"

  23. #23
    Stingy DM Veldan Rath's Avatar
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    Agree with LF, these type of tactics are what we accuse the SJW’s of doing. We must NOT do this.
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  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Veldan Rath View Post
    Agree with LF, these type of tactics are what we accuse the SJW’s of doing. We must NOT do this.
    You wouldn't want a sexual offender working at a school. You also wouldn't want someone who screams racism when there is none working in any company with an HR department. While the magnitude is obviously different the point remains.

  25. #25
    How does "your point" translate into denying service and/or employment to people simply *named* in a civil law suit?

  26. #26
    Stingy DM Veldan Rath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    You wouldn't want a sexual offender working at a school. You also wouldn't want someone who screams racism when there is none working in any company with an HR department. While the magnitude is obviously different the point remains.
    No, the point does not stand. This is no better than what they do, in their own sanctimonious high horse posturing.

    You either have principles or you don’t. A rule for thee but not for me does not fly.
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  27. #27
    Hypocrisy is rampant these days.

  28. #28
    Stingy DM Veldan Rath's Avatar
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    So is screaming racism at everyone, but hey, what can you do?
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  29. #29
    Try not to be Lewk?

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Veldan Rath View Post
    No, the point does not stand. This is no better than what they do, in their own sanctimonious high horse posturing.

    You either have principles or you don’t. A rule for thee but not for me does not fly.
    This isn't about blacklisting someone for the wrong politics. This is about blacklisting people who gleefully defamed an innocent family. One is essentially a thought crime, the latter is "penalizing" someone due to concrete unethical actions.

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