Daniel McGraw on the self-inflicted sorrows of Oberlin College:
Activists on campus immediately concluded the arrest of the three students was evidence of racial profiling, which suggests an assumption that either the students were falsely accused on account of their race, or that Gibson’s [Bakery and Market] was happy to allow whites to shoplift but drew the line at blacks. I heard versions of these two theories during interviews I conducted with dozens of the student protesters. But, despite the students’ claims and the vehemence of the language with which they were made, police and others testified that there had been no complaints or allegations of racism made against the family business since it opened in 1885. Not one. […]
As the protests continued, Gibson’s annual revenue almost halved… Eight full-time employees were reduced to one, and family members have had to forego their salaries (and still do, pending the receipt of damages) since the protests began. The Gibson family testified that all they wanted was for Oberlin College to send an email to the community affirming that Gibson’s was not racist and to move on. But the school refused and doubled down on its support for the protesters and their defamatory allegations.
Oberlin’s decision to double-down seems in part an attempt to deflect Mao-ling discontent at the college’s own supposed sins of “imperialism, white supremacy, capitalism, ableism, and a cissexist heteropatriarchy.” Having encouraged students to cultivate woke psychodramas at every turn, the ensuing hostility had to be pointed somewhere. Which rather speaks to the character of those involved.
David Gibson, owner of the besieged bakery, shares his account of events here:
Police arrested the student. But the next day, hundreds of people gathered in protest. From bullhorns they called for a boycott. The sidewalk and park across the street from our store were filled with protesters holding signs labelling us racists and white supremacists. The arrest, they said, was the result of racial profiling. The narrative was set and there was no combating it… The shoplifter confessed to his crime and said the arrest wasn’t racially motivated. But Oberlin College refused to help set the record straight by issuing a public statement that our family is not racist and does not have a history of racial profiling or discrimination. The damage had been done. And the truth seemed irrelevant.
Inevitably, Oberlin’s student newspaper lays blame elsewhere, denouncing the media and an “increasingly authoritarian country” - one in which “sustained and brave student activism” - i.e., vindictive hysteria and attempting to destroy the livelihoods of entirely innocent people – might become more difficult and even have consequences. At which point, the words that come to mind are lefties project.