Racial dispute at beloved bakery roils liberal college town
BY DAKE KANG
OBERLIN, OHIO Students at Oberlin College have long enjoyed pastries, bagels and chocolates from Gibson’s Bakery, a century-old, family-owned business near campus. That sweet relationship has turned bitter amid hotly disputed accusations of racism, roiling a school and town long known for their liberal politics.
The dispute, which began in November 2016 with the arrest of three black Oberlin students who tried stealing wine from Gibson’s, is now a lawsuit in which the exasperated bakery owners accuse the college and a top dean of slandering Gibson’s as a “racist establishment” and taking steps to destroy the family’s livelihood. …
The three students were arrested after punching and kicking the white shopkeeper. The 18- and 19-year-old students said that they were racially profiled and that their only crime was trying to buy alcohol with fake identification; the shopkeeper, Allyn Gibson, said the students attacked him after he caught them trying to steal bottles of wine.
The day after the arrests, hundreds of students protested outside the bakery. Members of Oberlin’s student senate published a resolution saying Gibson’s had “a history of racial profiling and discriminatory treatment.” …
On Nov. 7, the Gibsons sued Oberlin and Meredith Raimondo [pictured ight] vice president and dean of students, for slander, accusing faculty members of encouraging demonstrations against the bakery by suspending classes, distributing flyers, and supplying protesters with free food and drink.And, yes, Oberlin grad Lena Dunham is quoted in the article.
It says Raimondo took part in the demonstration against Gibson’s with a bullhorn and distributed a flyer that said the bakery is a “RACIST establishment with a LONG ACCOUNT of RACIAL PROFILING and DISCRIMINATION.”