A teachers union is threatening "legal action" against a student for filming and posting a rant by an instructor in which she described the election of Donald Trump as "an act of terrorism" and accused him of being a "white supremacist." The union decried the video exposing the instructor's egregious bias and bullying as an "illegal recording" and warned that the "student will be identified" and may face a lawsuit.
The instructor, Olga Perez Stable Cox, is a human sexuality teacher at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, California, where she has taught for 30 years.
"Our nation is divided. We have been assaulted. It is an act of terrorism," Cox declared to her students. Those who support Trump, she suggested, are guilty of "committing assault" and are "among us."
"One of the most frightening things for me, and most people in my life, is that the people who are committing the assault are among us," she said. "It is not some stranger from some other country coming and attacking our sense of what it means to be an American and the things that we stand for and that makes it more painful because I’m sure that all of us have people in our families and our circle of friends that are part of that movement and it is very difficult ... We are way beyond Republicans and Democrats and we’re really being back to being at civil war — I don’t mean that in a fighting way but our nation is divided as clearly as it was in Civil War times."
These people "committing assault," she alleged, have elected a "white supremacist and a vice president that is one of the most anti-gay humans in this country." (Full transcript of rant below.)
One of the students present for the hostile tirade took out a cell phone and recorded the speech. The student submitted the video (above) anonymously to the college's Young Republicans Club, who posted it on their Facebook page and filed a formal complaint about the over-the-top rant with the college president Dennis Harkins.
"The video, shot during a class on human sexuality, was submitted anonymously to us and we wanted to share it to raise awareness on this issue," YRC president Josh Recalde-Martinez told the Huffington Post. "We want other students to know that we will help protect them against the constant leftist indoctrination we are experiencing in class by exposing behavior like this."
Meanwhile, the union that represents Cox has responded by issuing a threatening message: "This is an illegal recording without the permission of the instructor," reads the warning posted on its Facebook page. "The student will be identified and may be facing legal action."
But Recalde-Martinez and the YRC don't show any signs of backing down, their legal representation sending a letter to Harkins and smacking the union for acting just like Cox.
"The unions are acting like thugs, like bullies themselves," said attorney Shawn Steel, a Republican National Committee member who volunteered to represent the Republican club. "Every student knows it. If you stand up to your professor, 90 percent of the time the professor’s going to punish you," he added.
The letter sent to President Harkins calls for immediate action in response to Cox's "hate speech and bullying tactics":
The brutal reviews of Cox on RateMyProfessor.com indicate that the student who took the video is not the only one to have felt that she has created a hostile classroom for those who disagree with her ideologically. The worst part, of course, is that she is not the only college professor abusing the position by turning classes that are supposed to encourage open, honest dialog into conservative-bashing anything-but-"safe" spaces. Ugly moments like the one captured at Orange Coast College are far more common than academia will ever admit.
Full transcript of Cox's rant:
"…white supremacist and a vice president that is one of the most anti-gay humans in this country. And so we are in for a difficult time but again I do believe that we can get past that. Our nation is divided, we have been assaulted, it’s an act of terrorism.
"One of the most frightening things for me and most people in my life is that the people creating the assault are among us. It is not some stranger from some other country coming and attacking our sense of what it means to be an American and the things that we stand for and that makes it more painful because I’m sure that all of us have people in our families and our circle of friends that are part of that movement and it is very difficult ... We are way beyond Republicans and Democrats and we’re really being back to being at civil war — I don’t mean that in a fighting way but our nation is divided as clearly as it was in Civil War times.
"And my hope is we will get leadership to help overcome that. I will go over some coping skills but before I do that I want you to know that the optimist in me, first of all, we are the majority, more of us voted to not have that kind of leadership, and we didn’t win because of the way our electoral college is set up but we are the majority and that’s helping me to feel better.
"I’m relieved that we live in California it is one of the best states and I love that and I love living here but i’m especially proud of our Legislature who did put out a message ... one of the things I’m doing to cope is to look for positive messages and look for some hope that’s the optimist in me — and California legislative leaders did put something... and these are things you can find...."
NOTES: This article has been updated to: clarify that the video was submitted anonymously to the Young Republicans Club, rather than taken by Recalde-Martinez, as early reports indicated; provide more quotes from Recalde-Martinez and the YRC representation; and include the full transcript of the rant. Original article posted Dec. 9, 2016.