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Oberlin College and Controversy
The Oberlin College Series
Gibson's Bakery (Oberlin) Horse Drawn Delivery Wagon c. 1905.
Gibson's Bakery (Oberlin) Horse Drawn Delivery Wagon c. 1905. Gibson's existed for 16 years before the Ford Motor Company was founded. Photo credit: Gibson's Bakery.
Oberlin College boulder memorializing David Gibson
Oberlin College boulder memorializing David Gibson. Photo credit: JD Nobody.

Gibson’s Bakery — shoplifting started it all!

Flowers for Dave Gibson
Remembrance flowers for Dave Gibson. Click or tap to read note. Photo credit: JD Nobody.

So, what does the Oberlin College Board of Trustees (the BOT) have to do with attacking Gibson’s Bakery? The answer was virtually nothing, until the day after President Trump was elected. On that day, an underage Black college student attempted to buy wine in Gibson’s Bakery using a poorly counterfeited ID. When this failed, he tried unsuccessfully to shoplift the wine.

Allyn D. Gibson restrained the shoplifter outside the store, where two black women students assaulted Allyn before the police arrived. Allyn was a store employee, not a store owner — a fact that is legally important later. The shoplifting student used physical violence against Allyn and his father, David Gibson, and threatened Allyn’s life during the shoplifting incident. These complications turned what would typically have been a misdemeanor into a criminal matter.

Oberlin College students boycott Gibson’s Bakery

Less than 10% of the student body then launched a Gibsons’ Bakery boycott believing the accusations of racism and racial profiling against the Gibson’s, and the screwups began. Most black residents of Oberlin were shocked by these accusations because they had known the Gibsons all their lives and knew the College’s slanderous allegations to be untrue.

The unproven accusations against the Gibsons rapidly gained momentum in the deflected anger over the election results and the resultant TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome). Individuals in the College administration, including Dean Raimondo, supported the students enthusiastically, leaving behind quite a paper trail documenting their libel and slander against the Gibsons. Not smart.

Gibson's Bakery (Oberlin) Horse Drawn Delivery Wagon c. 1905.
Gibson’s Bakery (Oberlin) Horse Drawn Delivery Wagon c. 1905. Gibson’s existed for 16 years before the Ford Motor Company was founded. Photo credit: Gibson’s Bakery.

Don’t blame Dean Raimondo
For unleashing the students.
Blame the BOT
for not leashing Raimondo.

The slanderous paperwork was a trial lawyer’s paradise containing emails, publicly distributed flyers, and college bulletin board postings. Based on the unproven accusations, the students advocated that no one patronize Gibson’s. This campaign was devastating to the bakery, which had already suffered 40 shoplifting incidents over the previous 18 months, mostly by white college students.

Oberlin College policy and procedure deficiencies

Unlike most educational institutions, the BOT had never bothered to define a complete libel and slander policy. Moreover, there was no clear way set up for determining whether an individual or a group was speaking for the College or was speaking for themselves. In short, any group or individual can shove their words into the College’s mouth.

Early Gibson's Bakery (Oberlin) Delivery Trucks
Early Gibson’s Bakery (Oberlin) Delivery Trucks. Photo credit: Gibson’s Bakery.

It appears that misinterpreting the first amendment freedom of speech provision is the College’s new excuse for having let slander run wild.

No effort was made by the College to deny the students either implicit or explicit permission to slander the Gibsons as an official college act — an oversight which gave the Gibson’s lawyers a vast arsenal of ammunition. The Gibson’s attorneys took the Gibson case on a contingency basis because they saw an almost certain victory.

Dereliction of duty explodes

Feral black cat stalking Oberlin College headquarters.

Feral black cat stalking Oberlin College headquarters.

This blog calls out the dereliction of duty and breach of fiduciary duty by the BOT’s members for allowing the FUBAR, Keystone Kops style Gibson’s v. Oberlin College litigation to run so far out of control. The BOT has accidentally given license to anyone associated with the College to shove whatever words they might choose into the College’s mouth, all in the name of “free speech!”

Liar, liar, your pants are on fire!

Jan. 8, 2020 addition: Badly choked communication channels between the BOT and the college strongly suggest that the BOT was extensively and glibly lied to by people whom they trusted. That would explain a lot. OberlinChaos is now working with other interested parties to find a way out of the tragic corner in which the BOT finds itself.

NEXT: Visit The OberlinChaos Clubhouse.

This blog warns Oberlin Alumni about the verbal prestidigitation and redactions in the COVID and Gibson’s Bakery stories. Please tell your fellow Obies how our college has damaged its reputation, the Gibsons, and the worth of our degrees. No pandemic, sleazy PR, or conflating of libel and slander with free speech can minimize the BOT’s negligence. Their elitism and compulsive behavior is eradicating funding for THOUSANDS of scholarships or 225 Steinway concert grand pianos. All done to destroy a tiny bakery!

Visit The OberlinChaos Clubhouse to see the latest posts and news.

If you disagree…

Send your objections to
whistleblower@oberlinchaos.com, or
post a comment.

Posted Sep 7, 2019 at 00:08. Revised Oct 19, 2020 at 20:41.
Retrieved Oct 26, 2020 at 11:47.
Copyright ©2020 Charles E. Dial. All rights reserved.

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Devon Howe

JD – I was following the Gibson’s lawsuit from the beginning. I even drove from Albany, NY to watch the trial for a day. I shook David Gibson’s hand and told him he was a great American for standing up to the nonsense. I was hoping that the result would send a message to college/university administrators that there is a difference between free speech and slander, and they would teach these concepts to their students…and maybe that happened…but it is incredible to watch Oberlin administrators who refuse to get the point. They continue to dig themselves into a hole…and they keep digging. I found your website after reading your comments on Legal Insurrection. You make some good points. I hope your pressure results in some BOT turnover. The whole place is sick…they need a complete overhaul.

Thanks for your efforts.

Devon Howe

KEVIN Daniels

This is a breath of fresh air to hear such rational and well argued defense of right side of this issue. I WILL GLADLY read and respond to future threads to this disscussion.
KEVIN Daniels. Oc 1992′


Is there an organized alumni effort to lobby and/or replace the BOT.

And how in the hell is Raimondo still employed?


Good job on the site. Oberlin College upper management needs to be broomed. They are arrogant and incompetent.