Posted Mar 9, 2020 at 21:45. Revised Apr 25, 2021 at 11:44.
An Oberlin resident speaks out
An Oberlin resident (town, not college) has some insights into the botched relationships between the College and the town. The opinions expressed are the opinions of the author, Lawrence, and may or may not be those of OberlinChaos.
JD believes that Meridith Raimondo has done enough dumb things that personal attacks on her are not necessary.
Hooray, New Website:
A new website created by an Oberlin College class of ‘61 alumnus, condemning the Oberlin College Cult and bringing to light the perfidy of College Trustees, has recently opened. Despite the college’s hiring as college president Carmen Twillie Ambar, who as a triple-minority is uncriticizable (being one black, two female, and three reportedly Muslim [If so, she has never been seen in hijab. ed.]). The college expects that she can schmooze over the Cults’ radical abuses without pushback. However, the college’s libelous actions and ☭Trotskyite☭ sympathies simply will not be flushed down the memory hole. And this valiant gentleman’s new website will help ensure this: https://oberlinchaos.com/.
In Remembrance of Dudley House and other bulldozed properties, follow-up:
In response to an ‘Oberlin Review’ article critical of the college’s demolition of village housing, Meredith Raimondo, head dyke, Vice President and Dean of Students, dripping insincerity from her tuna-fish mouth while flexing her hairy tattooed bicep stated: “I think it’s really important for the College – as an institution – to be a good neighbor,”. Sorry tuna-fish, but the last time around your disingenuous hypocrisy was a major factor in creating the Gibson’s Bakery fiasco, costing the college $25 million. Now shut up and make me a sandwich. It’s widely believed that the only reason that Raimondo is still around is that saner heads at Oberlin College haven’t yet found a place to dump the body. EPA regulations prohibit the dumping of hazardous waste, you know.
Oberlin’s Kangaroo Court:
Presiding over Oberlin College’s version of the Malleus Maleficarum tribunals, where for mostly political reasons, brutal persecution of those accused of witchcraft took place during the 16th and 17th centuries. Tuna-fish mouth, who helped design and implement Oberlin’s Kangaroo Court Title IX proceedings, boasted a 100% conviction rate. One of those so convicted was a young male Oberlin College student expelled from the college for sexual assault because his female partner allegedly said, “I am not sober” during an otherwise consensual encounter.
The young male student filed a lawsuit against the college, and the case is being heard on appeal. In February of 2019, a three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals expressed skepticism that Oberlin showed the accuser was incapable of consent, with Judge Raymond Kethledge expressing to Oberlin lawyer Aaron Herzing: “Nothing personal, but the … brief does seem to cherry-pick some of the testimony”. Judge Chad Readler expressed similar skepticism stating: “I’ve just been totally confused by the standard that the school has adopted.”
Although it may be some time before we know the outcome and impact of this case, questions raised by the Court of Appeals put a spotlight on Oberlin College’s inquisitional-like politicalized process.
More than 800 Oberlin College students and community members recently protested the administration’s announcement that it is considering laying off over 100 union workers. The school, increasingly in financial straits, is exploring contracting with a private company for dining and custodial services, affecting 52 full-time dining employees and 56 custodial employees represented by the United Auto Workers. Thumbing one’s nose at the UAW raises an interesting question: can Oberlin’s Trustees and Administrators breathe underwater?
Another Oberlin alum, Susan Phillips, class of ’76, stated in ‘An Open Letter to Students’ published in the student-run newspaper that: “union-busting, added to the Gibson’s fiasco, will serve only to strike another deeply damaging blow to Oberlin’s reputation and future.” Phillips is the former International Vice President of the Food and Commercial Workers Union and a labor consultant. She established a summer internship fund for Oberlin College students that provided financial support for their expenses related to supporting workers’ rights.
Now Phillips has suspended the scholarship in protest of the union layoffs. As part and parcel of these protests, it has also been documented that: ‘Students Burn Oberlin President in Effigy.’ If the students had instead Lynched Twillie Ambar in Effigy, it would have been even more hilarious Burning Ambar in effigy.
“The smallest worm will turn, being trodden on | And doves will peck in safeguard of their brood,” observed Shakespeare in his Henry VI. And so too it is with those who are laboring under the jackboot of the Oberlin College Cult are at long last finding the courage to speak out. The public relations consultants that the Trustees hired “to cover up this vast open sore on the College” are proving to be of little use in swaying public opinion. An opinion galvanized into intransigence by decades of the general public being assailed by the college’s amoral freak-show, double standards, and chronic abuse of the local citizenry.
OberlinChaos’s questions to Lawrence:
Thanks for thinking of our efforts to bring a little more sanity to the leadership at the top of Oberlin College. It is incredible how many people cannot see that the problem is with the top management and the Board of Trustees and that most of the other players on the stage are just good soldiers following orders.
Do I have your permission to use the material you sent to me as part of a post? What is the attribution for this material? Is it something which you wrote yourself, or is it from another source?
What association do you have, if any, with either the town of Oberlin or Oberlin College?
When we use your material, JD will partially disagree with your characterization of Meredith Raimondo. The vast bulk of the blame for the dumb things she did must fall directly on the trustees and the college’s then-president.
Let me address your many questions one at a time.
You first state that Oberlin’s problem is “…with the top management and the Board of Trustees…” Within the current timeframe and in regards to the current difficulties, I by and large agree. I don’t agree that Raimondo is just a pawn, but perhaps you know her better than I do. That said, I’m nonetheless firmly convinced that the problem runs deeper than any single person or group of individuals. The problem, I think, is endemic to a particular utopianist mindset, found throughout history, that sees humankind as perfectional.
The term neo-Puritan comes close to a one-word description of the problem plaguing Oberlin and much of society. That problem revolves around proselyting agitation by a neo-Puritan reactionary left. And no, I do not believe that “reactionary” and “left” are in this context contradictory terms. I try to be careful in using language but remain concerned that others might think I deem the “left” part-and-parcel of or synonymous with “liberalism.” By way of explanation, when I think of the “left,” I think of Leon Trotsky or Maximilien. [Robespierre]
When I think of “liberalism,” I think of Thomas Jefferson or John Locke.
I define neo-Puritanism as a pseudo-religious mindset, whereby one’s beliefs take precedent over any evidence that is contrary to this belief. Example: communism has been deemed a pseudo-religious ideology, and there’s no better example of neo-Puritan acting within the dogma of communist ideology than Trofim Lysenko. Lysenko, at one time the preeminent driving force in Soviet agriculture, rejected Mendelian genetics, believing (like Boas) that genetics played no part in inheritance. Recall that since the beginnings of agriculture, some 10,000 years
ago, farmers had the commonsense (derived from experience) to plant only the biggest healthiest kernels of grain to ensure that the next generation of crops would thrive. Now ask the Ukrainians that survived the Holodomor famine how Lysenko’s environmentalism über alles worked out for them.
In today’s nomenclature, the neo-Puritan is nowhere better represented than amongst the “feelings not facts” gang. In yesteryear, this close-minded fanaticism has no better representatives than the zealots from early Oberlin College who in 1840 brutally “lynched” Horace Norton, a young white student from Ripley, Ohio.
Some twenty men jumped Norton, choked him, and stuffed the end of a large stick into his mouth, breaking his teeth. He was then tied up with ropes, suspended from a tree, and viciously flogged. “Norton hung while his captors examined him and deliberated among themselves, his father said. The Oberlin men prayed and wept as they sought the will of God. They finally heard[*] the call to give Norton twenty-five lashes with a cowhide whip.
E. H. Fairchild, a tutor in the college and brother to James H. Fairchild, who would succeed Finney as president, did the whipping.” – Smith, Ted A. ‘The Price of respectable Equality: Eschatological Memories of Actually Existing Democracy. (The Price of Respectable Equality), p.147. (* reference the below story of another delusional nut-job, Abraham, who also heard otherworldly voices in his head).
By the way, Norton’s “crime” was that he sent racy notes to four students in the female department. These letters were so obscene, the cover-up committee said, that they conveniently couldn’t be made public.
When beliefs that one has held throughout their life about something are confronted with contradictory facts, cognitive dissonance often results. The discomfort from cognitive dissonance is frequently resolved through various means, justification and denial being two. The neo-Puritan must use these self-same coping mechanisms of justification and denial to shield their beliefs from the onslaught of objective reality.
An interesting experiment would be to present the story of Horace Norton to various random Oberlin College students and document their reactions. I’d bet a beer that a surprising percentage would deny the reality, to wit: “That’s just propaganda.” I’d bet a steak dinner that an even larger percentage would try to justify the flogging, to wit: “Well he must have raped her and anyway he was a [pick one] “member of the patriarchy” | “Nazi” | “Trump supporter.”
In their heart-of-hearts, these are the people who believe — they believe absolutely and unquestionably what they’re doing is right — irrespective. The classic analogies from the religious world are Galileo and Copernicus, who faced charges of heresy brought by the Inquisition because the biblical literalists of the church believed in their heart-of-hearts that the Sun and planets revolved around the Earth, the geocentric model. A more modern analogy may be found amongst the Creationists, who, despite mountains of evidence to the contrary, believe that the Earth is only some 6,000 – 10,000 years old. And recall the bible story of Abraham, this guy so much believed in the voices he heard in his head that despite all moral precepts to the contrary, he was willing to cut his son Isaac’s throat from ear-to-ear. So too it is with today’s neo-Puritans, so too is with the ideological descendants of Charles Grandison Finney, the father of religious brainwashing.
Common amongst Lorain County’s working class is the belief that a bunch of “commies perpetrates Oberlin College’s radicalism.” That is that underlying this radicalism is some form of Marxist/Leninist doctrine. And yes, it’s there. Who else but Marxist/Leninist sympathizers (the college’s red diaper babies) would invite murderous avowed communist Angela Davis to speak at their school, as she did in 2005. Yet, the roots of Oberlin’s radicalism predate Marxism, finding their genesis in the utopianism of the Second Great Awakening. What we have at Oberlin is a form of secular Liberation Theology. A synthesis of ideologies that hold the utopian belief that man can be perfected and that as holders of this esoteric knowledge, Oberlin’s proselytizing zealots have a duty to convert the ignorant masses to their truth, the only truth, whether the masses like it or not. Isn’t this the self-same thinking that led Pol Pot to forcibly relocate the urban population to the countryside so that he could create perfect egalitarianism? Lest I go on ‘til the cows come home, let me conclude my rambling, disjointed rant on this subject.
Permission? Sure, use within context whatever you want.
As to attribution: Yes, I wrote it myself, and while it is mostly off the top of my head, I make claim to no truly original ideas. I’m just not that smart. As with the Socratic paradox, “I know that I know nothing.”
My association? I’m a 3rd generation “townie” who did his undergraduate work at Baldwin-Wallace College. And yes, I’m appreciative of my liberal arts education, whose original raison d’être was to teach people how to think, not what to think — somewhere along the line this concept seems to have gotten supplanted.
I conclude by wishing you success in your efforts to bring a little light into the darkness.