Gibson's Bakery vs Oberlin College


Oct 29, 2002
Left thought they were above the law.

A store clerk, a member of the Gibson family, caught an Oberlin black student shoplifting, a scuffle ensued that was joined by two other Oberlin black students. When the police arrived, they arrested the students who eventually pleaded guilty. But before that, the college officials and students accused the bakery of racial profiling, called a boycott, suspended Gibson’s business with the college, and organized protests outside the bakery.

At the protests, a flyer was handed out, according to witnesses who testified at trial, by Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo, who also handed out stacks of flyers for others to distribute. The flyers accused the Gibsons of a long history of racial profiling, including in the incident with these shoplifters. The Gibsons disputed that allegation and that they did anything wrong in this indicent, and requested a public apology from the college in order to repair the reputational damage, but the college refused. (To this day it never has apologized.)

Based on the actions of college officials in conveying and promoting the defamatory accusations, a lawsuit was filed, resulting in massive verdicts for the owners of the bakery, David Gibson and his father, Allyn Gibson. Legal Insurrection was the only national media outlet to have someone in the courtroom reporting, including when the verdicts came down.