Why take a moment to reflect, to look for the truth, even, when you can just join the mob?

This, sadly, is often the prevailing attitude of so many in our era. Defame first and ask questions later. If bothering ever to ask them at all.

Still, one can hope that someone playing the part of an adult will from time to time rise to the occasion and buck the mob.

Consider the case of Oberlin College, which will finally be paying a small bakery nearly $40 million after the progressive bastion lost a defamation suit brought by the business.

According to court filings, what happened was this: In November 2016, when a Black student with a fake ID tried to purchase a bottle of wine at Gibson’s Bakery while having two more bottles hidden beneath his jacket, a white employee, a son and grandson of the business owners, chased him out onto the street. Two friends of the would-be shoplifter, who are also Black, were involved in a fracas with the employee. And then the real trouble began, with Gibson’s falsely accused of racial profiling.

Not surprisingly, protests followed. Business dried up. Reputations were ruined. And the mob just did its thing.

Though the specifics of the incident are surely a part of our particular time — the racial component most notably — having college kids acting like college kids is nothing new. What is, though, and what’s also completely unacceptable, is having administrators mindlessly join the circus.

We’ve all become accustomed to watching folks — especially those who are still relatively young — make snap judgments. That’s just how it goes. But, bad as it was for the kids to get all riled up without due cause, it was far worse for some in the college administration to join the mob in condemning the bakery.

This is more than just a sad story in a faraway town. It’s an example that should serve as a much-needed lesson. It’s the sort of thing that one could imagine happening in pretty much any college town, where being progressive so frequently means never having to stop to think. Now that Gibson’s has won its suit and will finally be paid, we’d like to believe that college administrators across the land will think twice before mindlessly jumping on any old bandwagon that is gaining momentum across campus.

©2022 Advance Local Media LLC. Visit masslive.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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