June 18, 2019

DISPATCHES FROM GROUND ZERO OF THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Oberlin Is Forced to Check Its Woke Privilege.

If there is one thing you learn about at Oberlin College, the notoriously progressive liberal-arts college, it is surely privilege: white privilege, hetero privilege, gender privilege, you name it.

Now, an Ohio jury has identified an entirely new variety, woke privilege, and resolved to hold people who believe they are protected by it to account.

The jury handed down a staggering $11 million verdict against Oberlin for a smear campaign against a local business, and it awarded another $33 million in punitive damages to the targeted mom-and-pop store, Gibson’s Food Market and Bakery.

The damages will certainly be reduced, but the verdict is a shot across the bow of well-heeled institutions tempted to join social-justice mobs.

Oberlin thought that it could defame Gibson’s as racist with impunity, that the hothouse rules of campus politics applied (i.e., anyone accused of racism is ipso facto guilty of racism), and that no one would question its superior righteousness and cultural power vis-à-vis a mere local business.

In other words, Oberlin counted on its woke privilege to give it the latitude to discount reason, evidence, and fair play.

Oberlin’s woke privilege may impact any number of uber-woke academic institutions, as trial lawyers wake up to the rewards that can be found by punching back twice as hard, to borrow from the recommendation of an uber-woke community advisor.

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