The California college professor who called the election of President Donald Trump an "act of terrorism" during class was nominated to become "faculty member of the year."
Olga Perez Stable Cox, a psychology instructor at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa was captured on video in December saying of Trump's recent election: "Our nation is divided, we have been assaulted, it’s an act of terrorism." She continued by saying the "most frightening" part of Trump's election was 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," the professor said, adding that the U.S. was "really back to being [in a] 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 that we will get some good leadership to help us to overcome that," Cox said.
Four months after making the inflammatory statement, Cox was nominated for "faculty member of the year," according to Campus Reform.
Doug Bennet, executive director of college advancement at OCC, explained how the prestigious nomination is determined.
“The selection is made via a committee that consists of faculty, staff, and administrators and is based on a rubric that takes into account a variety of factors," Bennet told Campus Reform. "The recommendation for the awards along with awards for staff member of the year and faculty member of the year are also recommended via the same process and same committee.”
The conservative website reported that each "faculty member of the year" is also slated to speak at the school's commencement ceremony that year.
Despite receiving the nomination, however, Cox reportedly turned down the honor. Bennet told Campus Reform that the professor did not say why she declined the award.
Joshua Recalde-Martinez, president-emeritus of OCC's College Republicans group, offered one theory to the outlet: “The fact that the faculty chose professor Cox for the faculty member of the year award speaks volumes to how blind they are about what she did last semester."
Recalde-Martinez's group was responsible for posting the video of Cox's inflammatory December comments on Facebook. On Saturday, campus police discovered that at least five campus buildings were targeted with graffiti. Some of the graffiti specifically named Recalde-Martinez.
"Doxx Joshua Martinez OCC Young Republicans = Fascists," one graffiti message read, according to the Los Angeles Times.
"Support your local antifa [anti-fascism]," another graffiti message read.
Recalde-Martinez said it was because of these recent acts of vandalism that Cox will not be speaking at this year's commencement.
"She understood the impact that accepting the nomination could have on the campus climate, and that is why she refused," Recalde-Martinez told Campus Reform.
The Orange Coast College campus police and Costa Mesa Police Department are investigating who is responsible for the graffiti.
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