New Jersey College Fires Black Professor After She Went On Fox News To Criticize White Privilege

A black New Jersey com­mu­ni­ty col­lege pro­fes­sor was fired after she appeared on Fox News to defend a black-only Memorial Day Celebration in New York City.

The event was adver­tised as an “unapolo­get­i­cal­ly black space,” which nat­u­ral­ly caused a firestorm in con­ser­v­a­tive media. This led Lisa Durden, a polit­i­cal com­men­ta­tor who was an adjunct pro­fes­sor at Essex County College in Newark, to appear on Fox News to dis­cuss the con­tro­ver­sy.

Boo-hoo-hoo,” Durden said sar­cas­ti­cal­ly in the June 6 inter­view with Tucker Carlson. “You white peo­ple are angry because you couldn’t use your white priv­i­lege card to get invit­ed to the Black Lives Matter all-black Memorial Day cel­e­bra­tion.”

The exchange quick­ly turned heat­ed, with Carlson, a man clear­ly capa­ble of mak­ing and break­ing careers, going on to call Durden “hos­tile and sep­a­ratist and crazy.”

“You’re dement­ed actu­al­ly,” Carlson said. “You’re sick and what you’re say­ing is dis­gust­ing and if you were a Nazi I would say the same thing to you.”

Two days after the inter­view, the school sus­pend­ed Durden, who taught cours­es on mass com­mu­ni­ca­tion and cul­ture, from her teach­ing duties with pay, although only about a week remained in the sum­mer school ses­sion. Two weeks lat­er, Durden was fired from Essex, a cam­pus that is fed­er­al­ly des­ig­nat­ed as a “Predominantly Black and Hispanic Serving Institution.”

In an inter­view with The Washington Post after her removal, Durden didn’t mince words. “I was pub­licly lynched,” she said. “They didn’t let me fin­ish the class and they dis­rupt­ed the learn­ing process. I had a right to free speech, and I exer­cised that right.”

In a lengthy state­ment—post­ed in text and video form on Friday — Essex County College President Anthony Munroe said the school 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.”http://​fusion​.kin​ja​.com/​n​e​w​-​j​e​r​s​e​y​-​c​o​l​l​e​g​e​-​f​i​r​e​s​-​b​l​a​c​k​-​p​r​o​f​e​s​s​o​r​-​a​f​t​e​r​-​s​h​e​-​s​p​o​k​-​1​7​9​6​4​2​0​454

In con­sid­er­a­tion of the College’s mis­sion, and the impact that this mat­ter has had on the College’s ful­fill­ment of its mis­sion, we can­not main­tain an employ­ment rela­tion­ship with the adjunct,” Munroe, who is also black, said in the state­ment.

Leslie Farber, Durden’s attor­ney, con­firmed to NJ​.com that her client is con­sid­er­ing legal action against her for­mer employ­er.

I believe their first sus­pend­ing and then fir­ing her was direct­ly because of her appear­ing on the Tucker Carlson TV show, and is a vio­la­tion of her fed­er­al and state con­sti­tu­tion­al rights to free speech,” Farber said.