Lib bastion takes a hit, finally
For years, Oberlin College, a bastion of liberalism, has been considered all but untouchable among the elite repositories of leftist higher education. But, as we learned this week, even bastions can sustain a much-deserved chink in dubious reputations.
The story would take longer to tell than we have the space to tell it, but duly condensed: On the day of President Trump’s election, an Oberlin student, no doubt wishing to drink his life away after such an election result, swiped a couple of bottles of wine from a popular bakery near campus. A scuffle ensued in which the student, subsequently aided by a male friend and two female students who used their boots as weapons, got the better of a store employee who challenged the pilferage.
So what does Oberlin do? Rather than yank its wayward scholars back in line, it turns on the bakery as a disseminator of racism and a practitioner of racial profiling. The school even tried to get food suppliers to stop business with the bakery.
What Oberlin did not count on was a 130-year-old business with deep enough pockets to haul its leftist derriere to court — and win. An Ohio jury this week awarded the bakery $11 million in damages for the college’s libelous behavior.
How will this episode fit in the school’s alleged illustrious history? And, more important, has the worm now turned a little when a supposed paragon like Oberlin is not allowed to act as it pleases, well, because it’s Oberlin.