- The Washington Times - Monday, June 26, 2017

Essex County College in Newark, New Jersey, has fired an adjunct professor after she defended a blacks-only event during a heated interview on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

Lisa Durden was suspended with pay two days after her June 6 appearance but was fired following a public meeting with school officials last week, NJ.com reported. The college’s president announced the decision Friday.

“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,” college President Anthony Munroe said in a statement.

“The college affirms its right to select employees who represent the institution appropriately and are aligned with our mission,” his statement read, in part. “The character of this institution mandates that we embrace diversity, inclusion, and unity. Racism cannot be fought with more racism.”

In her Fox News interview, Ms. Durden defended a Black Lives Matter group’s decision to host a blacks-only Memorial Day celebration in New York City.

“Boo hoo hoo, 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,” Ms. Durden told Mr. Carlson, who called her views “separatist” and divisive.

Now, Ms. Durden is considering taking legal action against the college for allegedly trampling her First Amendment rights by firing her.

“I thought when I came home from war, I would be safe,” she told NJ.com.

Ms. Durden’s attorney, Leslie Farber, said the public school can’t prevent employees from speaking their opinions.

“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,” Ms. Farber said.

A petition demanding Ms. Durden be reinstated gathered more than 1,600 signatures as of Monday morning.

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