Associated Press confirms that Lisa Durden, an adjunct professor at New Jersey’s Essex County College, has been fired barely two weeks after an appearance on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
The controversial interview aired on June 6, 2017. Durden was invited onto the show to defend an all-black Memorial Day Weekend barbecue in New York City that was sponsored by a Black Lives Matter group.
Host Tucker Carlson asked her if seemingly segregating by race was contradictory, considering the goals of the Black Lives Matter movement. Durden’s response included her claiming, “You white people are angry because you couldn’t use your white privilege card to get invited to the Black Lives Matter’s all-black Memorial Day Celebration,” among other lines.
Forty-eight hours after her interview aired, Durden was suspended with pay for six working days. She addressed the school board in a public meeting on June 20 and was fired shortly thereafter, according to NJ.com.
Essex County College President Anthony Munroe released a statement Friday night regarding Durden’s termination. In part, it reads:
The college was immediately inundated with feedback from students, faculty and prospective students and their families expressing frustration, concern and even fear that the views expressed by a college employee (with influence over students) would negatively impact their experience on the campus […] The college affirms its right to select employees who represent the institution appropriately and are aligned with our mission.
Durden has said that Essex County College “publicly lynched” her. She has retained a lawyer, who said Durden’s suspension and firing is “a violation of her federal and state constitutional rights to free speech.”
Essex County College, she says, cannot prevent employees from “speaking out on something.”