Oberlin administrators to hand out NoDoz pills to black students so they can stay “woke” to white privilege rules and culture
June 17, 2019
38 E. College St.
Oberlin, OH 44074
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
OBERLIN, OH - Oberlin College administrators to hand out NoDoz pills to black students so they can stay “woke” to white privilege rules and culture.
Oberlin College vice president and general counsel, Donica Thomas Varner and two other school officials, one black, president Carmen Twillie Ambar and one white, interim vice president and dean of students Meredith Raimondo, will be handing out NoDoz pills to black students at the university as a symbol of how they should stay “woke.”
In November 2016, a black male Oberlin College student was stopped for shoplifting two bottles of wine while attempting to use a fake ID to buy another at Gibson’s Bakery and Market in downtown Oberlin, OH.The pills, as well as coffee, are commonly used by college students to stay awake for long or all night study sessions, as well as during finals week.
The event, a symbolic gesture for the two black administrators (and one white), is designed to help blacks think about how they should prepare themselves for a white world that includes concepts like how shoplifting is illegal, as well as topics like justice, equity, diversity and inclusivity.
The effort comes on the heals of lawsuit that awarded the bakery $33 million in damages as a result of protests at the bakery that were encouraged by some of the administrators in their roles at the university.
Raimondo approved of and even participated in the protests that sought to label the bakery as racist because a bakery employee ran after and held a black Oberlin student for shoplifting and using a fake ID to purchase alcohol.
Gibson’s and its owners sued the College and Raimondo for libel, tortious interference with business relationships and contracts, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and trespass, claiming long-term damage to its business and reputation from the defamatory accusations and other torts.
In closing arguments, the plaintiffs asked the jury to award $12.8 million in compensatory damages. The jury awarded the plaintiffs $11 million in compensatory damages and an additional and an additional $33 million in punitive damages, although Ohio law will likely limit the punitive award to $22 million, for a total judgement of $33 million.
Despite the legal award and judgement, Ambar sent an email that said, “none of this will sway us from our core values.”
An account of the incident: A black Oberlin student, Jonathan Aladin, tried to use a fake ID to purchase alcohol from bakery employee Allyn Gibson. Gibson refused to accept the fake ID and noticed two additional bottles of wine hidden under Aladin’s shirt. Gibson told Aladin he was calling the cops.
Aladin, according to Gibson’s lawsuit against Oberlin, knocked the phone out of Gibson’s hand and ran from the store. Gibson chased after him. When police arrived, Gibson was being physically attacked by Aladin and the two other students who accompanied him to the store — Cecelia Whettstone and Endia Lawrence. All three students are black.
The three students pleaded guilty. Aladin acknowledged race was not a factor in his treatment.
Instead of admitting their role (or guilt) in the incident, a statement from the college claims that Gibson’s Bakery is responsible for the entire incident.
“Gibson bakery’s archaic chase-and-detain policy regarding suspected shoplifters was the catalyst for the protests,” the statement said. “The guilt or innocence of the students is irrelevant to both the root cause of the protests and this litigation.”
To further remedy the situation, Oberlin College may offer shoplifting tips for black students so that they can avoid the stain of white privilege rules against theft.
For more information, call Oberlin College at (440) 775-8411.
© 2019 Larry Ingram
Based in St Louis,
Larry Ingram writes about the news media, movies and culture, as well as topics like race, privilege, Christianity, religious expression and tolerance.
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