A Costa Mesa, California, professor has become the victim of vicious death threats after a video of her calling President-elect Donald Trump’s victory an “act of terrorism” went viral.
Orange Coast College psychology professor Olga Perez Stable Cox, 66, was forced to end the semester early and flee to her Orange County home after receiving backlash on social media and through emails and phone calls. Many students also began attacking her reputation on websites like “Professor Watchlist.”
“Now, at 66, I’m paranoid,” Cox told The Washington Post. “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 backlash began after a conservative student decided to share her footage with Orange Coast College Republicans, who in turn posted the video on Facebook Monday, Dec. 6.
In the footage, Cox told her students that the nation post-election is as divided as it was in the 1860s during the Civil War. She also referred to Vice President-elect Mike Pence as “one of the most anti-gay humans in the country.”
“Our nation is divided. We have been assaulted. It is an act of terrorism,” Cox says in the video. “One of the most frightening things for me and most people in my life is that the people creating the assault are among us.”
For nearly a month, Cox has been subjected to extreme criticism from students and media pundits on the Right. Before the video, the professor was relatively unknown and was well-respected by students. But that all changed in a matter of days.
“Keep your anti-white, man-hating, traditional-values-bashing, islamophile radical views to yourself!” one person 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—-!”
“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.”
However, the emails were only the beginning. Cox did not want to be alone anymore and some of her students shared similar sentiments. So, they escorted the woman around campus and security made routine stops by her office.
The harassment came to a climax after an emailer identified as Tim White threatened to share Cox’s home address, phone number and salary. Upon receiving that threat, Cox fled and handed over her class to a substitute for the last week of the semester.
Despite the mounting threats, the woman did not receive help from the FBI and Costa Mesa Police because her property was not vandalized and she was not physically harmed.
Meanwhile, Cox will resume teaching in January and the group of young Republicans who posted the video are taking legal action against the school.
“My parents left Cuba so we would not have this kind of harassment and so we would have access to free education,” Cox said. “They made sacrifices to bring us here, and I’m proud to be an American.”