Posted Nov 25, 2019 at 13:00. Revised Jan 10, 2021 at 13:57.
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Oberlin’s Shamelessness Marches On
JD Nobody never had the opportunity to meet Dave Gibson. Nevertheless, it didn’t take long to learn what a decent and exceptional person Dave was and to see that the behavior of Oberlin college toward Dave and the Gibson family is sick beyond words. Shamelessness Marches on.
Oberlinchaos is gratified to see the outpouring of sympathy and condolences to the Gibson family, and also to see the words of appreciation which Oberlinchaos has received for our part in bringing decent treatment to the Gibson family.
What is with this violent eruption of pathologically unliberal liberalism? Are the trustees nothing more than just generic liberal bigots? Are they bigots who are quick to see bigotry in everyone else but don’t have the guts to look in the mirror themselves? Have they been duped by people in the Administration whom they have gullibly trusted? Why does the BOT see itself as so uniquely enlightened and knowledgeable when they are very ordinary generic people clothed in the most elegant and “woke” elitism?
Will Ambar have the decency at this time to send condolences to the Gibsons? If so, will it be under her signature or the signature of one of her PR lackeys? We hope that she will muster the decency to send condolences under her name, but we are not holding our breath. In another instance, she insisted that there was no need to have condolences go out under her name rather than the name of a PR lackey.
As of this writing, there is no known response from the College to David Gibson’s death. By all indications, there is not even an acknowledgment that an essential person in the community has passed on.
There was a time at Oberlin when there was an atmosphere of graciousness and decency. That all began to fade over 50 years ago after discarding dining graciousness for a much more cost-effective but sterile cafeteria setting. The current dining environment is better than that of the average herd of pigs’ trough. It is hardly a gracious atmosphere.
Possible explanations for the shamelessness
At Oberlinchaos.com, much thought has been given to how on Earth the Oberlin Trustees could ever run as far off the rails as they have. Their appalling behavior cannot be explained adequately as ignorance or dereliction of duty. They are smart people who seemingly have no idea about what is happening right under their noses.
One explanation is that President Ambar doesn’t know any better. That assumption seems to be absurd because she is not a stupid or ignorant woman. A very slick and glib fast talker she is, but a fool she is not. Another possible explanation is she is a sociopath that knows right from wrong but doesn’t care because she knows she is a gifted enough lawyer to talk her way around and past any problem. Another possible explanation is she is a perfect soldier, in the worst sense of the term, who is blindly and dutifully following the Board of Trustees’ incompetent orders.
It is abundantly clear that the Board of Trustees should have known what is going on and also seem to have sociopathic tendencies in that they probably know the difference between right and wrong. Yet, their actions reveal no awareness of such insight. Ever since the civil trial, the BOT has been acting like the jury’s verdict blindsided them.
How they could have been that disconnected from reality is mind-boggling unless they were frequently lied to by people whom they trusted. The embarrassing evidence that would be presented in court was known before the trial, but the gathering storm was blissfully ignored. Anybody who has reviewed the overwhelmingly damning evidence presented at the trial would have difficulty explaining how any reasonable jury, biased or not, could have ruled in favor of the College.
It seems quite possible that the Trustees are in control. They may have been sucked in by the stereotypes of the people, the culture, and the economic issues found in the heartland. Everyone is aware of the names shouted toward the heartland in the aftermath of the 2016 election. One has to believe that the Trustees have brainwashed themselves with their emotionally self-serving propaganda on the topic, and unquestioningly believe it.
In the portrayal of the people in the heartland as ignorant bigoted etc. it would appear that the Board of Trustees is incapable of seeing that they too are as ignorant and intolerant as those whom they deride. Of course, they will hotly deny that they have any ignorance or bigotry toward the people in the heartland, but their actions, words, and attitudes speak otherwise.
There is a passage in the Bible which says, “you know a tree by its fruit.” The fruit which the trustees are nurturing is delicious but highly poisonous. The BOTs inability to see themselves as others see them is in line with their failure to have much empathy for regular people like the Gibsons. The lives and problems of such people are beyond the comprehension of the elite and privileged BOT.
Moreover, they seem entirely oblivious to the way they have degraded the value of Oberlin Degrees by feeding an outrageous national circus of hatred toward either the College or the Gibsons. The nation is laughing at the alumni and the College, and the BOT seemingly doesn’t care. After all, making things right is strictly a public relations problem, and they can hire the best public relations people in the country to paper it over. Best of all, they can use somebody else’s money to pay for it. Minor detail: the “somebody else” is Oberlin College.
A psychological view
It is reasonable to presume that everyone on the BOT to the last man woman and child hates President Trump. Despite this hatred, they are doing an excellent job of emulating his loose cannon behavior and his unwillingness to accept input or additional facts from others. Since facts and opinions in today’s world are the same things, there is little reason for the BOT to worry about facts. Any idea, even if arrived at in a vacuum, is, by definition, factual and correct in this new world order.
The shadow side of the Board of Trustees is Donald Trump at his nastiest. At least the ego side of the Donald is capable on occasion of showing some compassion and graciousness.
The board has taken a page or two out of the General Motors playbook, which they might still be using today. Its cardinal principle was, “you take care of the system, and the system will take care of you.” That means that if the system chooses to smash an inconsequential little bakery and anyone objects, that person is, by definition, an organizational misfit. It is all quite Trumpian and shameless.
So what do we do at this point? We must keep the heat on the Board of Trustees from every angle and be prepared to do it for a long time. They have made it clear that their tenaciously compulsive behavior toward the Gibsons while ignoring the escalating legal costs will not change until they feel an overwhelming amount of pressure.
/s/ JD Nobody, OC ’61.
The purpose of this blog is to tell the other side of the Gibson’s Bakery, OSCA, the Kosher-Halal Co-op, and UAW stories to Oberlin Alumni lest they believe the College’s heavily redacted and whitewashed version of events. Please tell your fellow Obies how our college has damaged its reputation, the worth of our degrees, the Gibsons, the college’s union workers, K-H, and the OSCA Co-op tradition. No pandemic, sleazy PR, or conflating of libel and slander with free speech can divert attention from the BOT’s negligence in these matters. Speak up and insist that the BOT arrest its compulsive, neo-Puritan righteousness, which has already eradicated either THOUSANDS of $36,000 scholarships or 225 Steinway concert grand pianos — just to wreck a tiny bakery, a cooperating union, K-H, and the OSCA Student Co-op!