Two weeks after a New York chapter of Black Lives Matter hosted a so-called “blacks-only” Memorial Day party, BLM supporter and black college professor Lisa Durden, who was asked by Tucker Carlson why such an event is acceptable, has been fired due to her racist comments.
Durden, a political commentator and professor at Essex County College in New Jersey, defended the Black Lives Matter movement’s decision to host a Memorial Day celebration in New York City to which only black people were invited. On Carlson’s show, Durden’s racist comments included, “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,” and “We want to celebrate today. We don’t want anybody going against us today.”
On his June 6 show, Carlson and Durden, who is black, got into a heated exchange over the appropriateness of allowing only blacks to attend a Black Lives Matter event in New York City on Memorial Day.
“Listen. What I say to that is boo-hoo-hoo,” she said. “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! Wow!”
Carlson and Durden Interview Flashback, June 6, 2017
Two days after the show, the school suspended Durden with pay. She addressed the matter with school officials Tuesday, three days before the firing was announced.
Recently, much attention has been given to the impact of an exchange on a television show between an Essex County College adjunct [Lisa Durden] and the host. 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. I want to address how the College is responding.
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.
I fully believe that institutions of higher learning must provide a safe space for students to explore, discuss and debate, not only academic philosophies, but the harder issues related to living harmoniously and growing together in our communities and as a country. As the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King wrote, “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” The character of this institution mandates that we embrace diversity, inclusion, and unity. Racism cannot be fought with more racism.
To continue to effectively fulfill our mission and to continue our legacy of providing opportunity and success, there are principles, which we eagerly embrace. First, Essex County College deeply values free speech and academic freedom. The open exchange of ideas and perspectives gives strength to our institution and provides depth to the education provided to our students.
The College also supports and affirms the right of free speech and independent views and expressions of those views for our faculty and staff. We expect and encourage faculty involvement in our community. My administration has a duty to set a strong example of tolerance. Accordingly, free speech and academic freedom must always work in the service of our student body.
Another principle we embrace is that of being an open-access institution. Our commitment and responsibility to the health and well-being of our students is paramount. Essex County College actively seeks to create an environment, which is welcoming to people of all backgrounds and abilities. Consistent with this principle, we firmly reject and denounce any conduct that implies that all students are not welcome to participate in, or benefit from, our programs or activities on the basis of their race, color, orientation or national origin.
When the administration receives an outpouring of concern regarding our student body, it is our responsibility to investigate those concerns.
While the adjunct [Lisa Durden] who expressed her personal views in a very public setting was in no way claiming to represent the views and beliefs of the College, and does not represent the College, her employment with us and potential impact on students required our immediate review into what seemed to have become a very contentious and divisive issue. For the purpose of a fair and immediate review, the adjunct was suspended with full pay, for the remainder of the summer I session which equated to six (6) working days, pending the outcome of a fair and thorough review of the matter.
The adjunct addressed the College community at an open forum on June 20th. 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. The College affirms its right to select employees who represent the institution appropriately and are aligned with our mission.
Naturally, Durden whimpered and told True New Jersey that she has received a lot of support from other staff members and students, but compared her experience to a rape victim who is blamed for the crime, and a person who returns from war to a hostile environment. The Newark resident said she thought living in a “black and brown city” and working for a “black and brown college,” she would be supported after a trying appearance on Fox News.
“It should be a safe place for me,” she said of Essex County College. “I thought when I came home from war, I would be safe.” Instead, she said, “I was fired.”
No Durden, people like you keep racism alive with total non-sense and if you had been white, you would have been fired as well so stop belly-aching and keep your racism to yourself.
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