Olga Perez Stable Cox has been a professor at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, California, for over two decades. Now, in her mid-60s, Cox is scared for her life and living more or less as a recluse in her home.
A clip of Cox calling Donald Trump’s election “an act of terrorism” went viral earlier this month, and since then, she has been victim to a wave of violent threats that forced her to end the semester early and stay in her home in Orange County.
(Here’s the video incase you missed it)
The Washington Post reports:
“Now, at 66, I’m paranoid,” Cox said. “It doesn’t feel good at all to be looking over my shoulder and wondering when an unfamiliar car pulls up across the street whether they’re going to take a picture of me or something worse — but that’s my life now. I feel like I’ve been attacked by a mob of people all across the country,” she added. “If they’re telling me over and over again that they want to shoot me in the face, how am I supposed to know if they’re going to do it or not?”
The mob Cox refers to doesn’t wield pitchforks and torches but hate-filled tweets, violent emails and threatening Facebook messages and phone calls. They are a virtual force with limited numbers but a seemingly unlimited supply of hate that has proved just as frightening for the longtime academic.
The video that sparked the hate shows Cox standing in front of her students calling the president-elect a “white supremacist” and arguing that the country has “been assaulted.”
Cox, a psychology professor who teaches a class on human sexuality, referred to Vice President-elect Mike Pence as “one of the most anti-gay humans in the country.” She also told her students that the nation is as divided now as it was “in Civil War times.”
She noted that she was “relieved that we live in California.”
Cox’s comments were recorded by a conservative student in her class who found her statements offensive and decided to share the video with the Orange Coast College Republicans, according to Joshua Recalde-Martinez, a political science major and president of the campus Republican group.
The video went viral, and within days, the beloved professor — who is largely unknown beyond the campus where she has taught for more than two decades — was under fierce attack. Her inbox and voice mail were filled with hundreds of threatening messages that referred to her as “libtard,” “Marxist,” “nutcase,” “vile leftist filth” and a “satanic cult member.”
“Keep your anti-white, man-hating, traditional-values-bashing, islamophile radical views to yourself!” an emailer named Xavier Israel Matamoros wrote. “You are an intolerant Marxist terrorist who causes division by bringing up your one-sided radical viewpoints and intimidating and shaming your non-conforming students. You are a sick, demented, evil b****!”
The Threats got worse:
“Go out in the middle of the football field, pull out a handgun, put it to your temple and shoot yourself,” Jim Ernst wrote. “Or better yet, douse yourself in gasoline and set yourself on fire.”
Then, “the harassment crested when Cox received an email from a man named Tim White that showed her home address, phone number and salary and threatened to spread the information “everywhere.” The email referred to Cox as a “libtard, Marxist, hatemonger, nutcase.” It was then, Cox said, that she could no longer stand to be in her home and decided to flee.”
Cox will return to her classroom next semester. She has said that many of her students, especially ones who are gay, Muslim or Hispanic, share her fear. The FBI and local police can’t do anything to help as she hasn’t been physically attacked (yet), and the college president, while sympathetic, can’t do much to help either.
The student who took and shared the video with the Campus Republicans who took it viral could face punishment from the school as sharing classroom video is against the school’s code of conduct.
Remember, though, Republicans are the party of “Values.” Those values are being redefined daily, and today they are hate, violence and fear.