NJ college president defends firing professor over Fox News appearance

NJ college fires professor over comments made on Tucker Carlson Tonight

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".

Essex County College president Anthony Munroe, citing an onslaught of complaints after Lisa Durden's June 6 cable-news clash, affirmed the Newark school's support for free speech - but concluded "racism can not be fought with more racism".

"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 campus", said Munroe.

"As the new president, I think it is important for me to make clear and reaffirm the college's commitment, as a public institution, to maintaining a welcoming environment to all students, from a variety of races, lifestyles, abilities, socio-economic backgrounds, faiths and cultures", said Munroe in a statement confirming that Durden was suspended with full pay for the remainder of the summer session after her appearance while it was investigated.

He continued, "The character of this institution mandates that we embrace diversity, inclusion, and unity".

Durden said the firing was unjust, claiming "there was no due process, there were no facts".

Black Lives Matter group in NY holds an "exclusively black" Memorial Day party. and asks all other races to stay away. There were many people on social media commending her statements, and yet the university chose to take actions as a result of the negative responses, Durden said.

Durden said the college "publicly lynched" her.

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Durden appeared on Tucker's show earlier this month, and the two of them ended up in a major shouting match over a Black Lives Matter Memorial Day event that was exclusive to African Americans.

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

According to Durden, Bridgett told her that somebody complained about her associating herself with the school during the interview.

In the wake of her axing, Durden told NJ.com on Friday that students and fellow staffers had backed her up - and likened her predicament to that of a rape survivor blamed for the assault.

She was later fired after addressing the school community during an "open forum" held Tuesday, the institution president said.

During an interview with NJ.com, the Newark resident said she assumed because she taught at a predominately black school her opinions would be supported.

"I made a decision to come back to Newark because this is my community", she added. "I thought when I came home from war, I would be safe". Instead, "I was sacked".

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