2019 Jun 7, 5:22pm
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These may seem like non-political examples. But the reason I included them is to show that the judge did not want to open the door even a smidgen to allow this case to get off on a political track. He did not want to students or administrators to use the witness stand to debate if Gibson’s was racist or not. He did not want the school to bring up an expert who might testify that that reason the students were up in arms over racism because of the political climate of November of 2016, and therefore that was the excuse for protesting.Or allowing the plaintiffs to introduce evidence or testimony that political ideology wasn’t the excuse for, but the cause of, the protests and racial accusations.In short, Judge Miraldi is keeping this case as simple as he can. Namely, did Oberlin College support and help students defame a business in a way that was against the law? And if so, how much do they owe the business and the individuals allegedly defamed?That is not to say that the political ramifications of that time and place were not a big part of why this happened and when it did. Since I first heard of this protest in Oberlin on Nov. 10-11 of 2016, my first thought was that it occurred a few days after the Trump-Clinton election. I am convinced that if the shoplifting had occurred three months earlier or three months later, there would have been little or no protest over three African-Americans shoplifting at Gibson’s.There is no question, however, that the school was ripe for venting anger over racial issues and Trump’s win that the student body was upset with. But the only evidence in this case that has a political bent in that direction was the letter sent out the Oberlin College community on Nov. 11 by school President Marvin Krislov and Raimondo.