By Andy Ngo - City Journal
An Ohio jury awarded the owners of Gibson’s Food Mart and Bakery in Oberlin $44 million in combined punitive and compensatory damages in its defamation action against Oberlin College and a top university administrator. The incident at the heart of the lawsuit stems from a 2016 hate-crime hoax involving three black students, occurring the day after Donald Trump’s presidential victory. Gibson’s, owned and operated by the same family for over a century, has been a popular spot for Oberlin College students looking to buy groceries within walking distance of campus. Gibson’s also supplied the college dining hall with baked goods.
On November 9, 2016, Oberlin students Jonathan Aladin, Endia Lawrence, and Cecelia Whettstone fought with Allyn Gibson, the owner’s grandson, after he tried to apprehend Aladin for stealing alcohol. The students claimed that they had been racially profiled. Students, professors, and even some in the Oberlin administration launched a boycott of the bakery, including protests and pickets. The school cancelled its contracts with Gibson’s. But the allegations proved baseless: the students had in fact been caught stealing from the store, and they admitted as much when they pled guilty the following August.
Advocacy groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center make headlines by claiming that hate crimes have surged since Trump’s election, but the real surge is in hate-crime hoaxes, especially among university students. The day after the 2016 election, Eleesha Long, a student at Bowling Green State University—about 90 miles west of Oberlin—said that she was attacked by white Trump supporters, who threw rocks at her. Police concluded that she had fabricated the story. That same day, Kathy Mirah Tu, a University of Minnesota student, claimed in a viral social-media post that she was detained by police after fighting a racist man who had attacked her. Campus and local police said that they had had no contact with her. And again that day, a Muslim student at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette made up a story about being attacked and robbed by Trump supporters, who supposedly ripped off her hijab. For weeks after Trump’s election, America was fed a series of outrageous stories of campus race hatred that fell apart upon examination. Full Article - Andy Ngo - City Journal