A Black Lives Matter activist who controversially appeared on Tucker Carlson's Fox News show earlier this month and mocked white people while defending a "blacks only" Memorial Day event has been fired from the community college where she worked.
According an Associated Press report, Essex County College has fired adjunct professor Lisa Durden for the comments she made while on Carlson's show. The announcement comes just two weeks after Durden appeared on Fox and just days after it was reported that she had been suspended indefinitely from her teaching position.
Durden originally appeared on Carlson's show on June 6 to discuss the blacks-only event. When Carlson confronted Durden about the blacks-only celebration, Durden mocked: "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! Wow!"
During their tense exchange, Carlson said Durden was "demented."
Just two days after the interview, the AP reports that Essex suspended Durden with pay. College officials say they suspended the teacher after receiving complaints about her interview and the comments she made. But after another meeting with college officials last Tuesday, Durden got the axe.
More from the Associated Press:
Essex County College President Anthony Munroe said the school “supports and affirms the right of free speech and independent views and expressions of those views” for faculty and staff.
He also noted that although Durden did not mention her affiliation with the school during her television appearance or claim to be representing its views, “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.”
In response to her dismissal, Durden and her attorney, Leslie Farber, are considering legal action against the school, alleging the college violated Durden's First Amendment rights.
"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 in a statement to NJ.com.
According to the AP, Durden has also compared her firing to a "public lynching." In an interview with NJ.com, Durden also compared her dismissal to a rape victim being blamed for the crime or a solider returning from war to a hostile environment.
Still, Munroe defended the college's decision to dismiss Durden in a statement late 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," Munroe said, according to NJ.com.
"I fully believe that institutions of higher learning must provide a safe space for students... The character of this institution mandates that we embrace diversity, inclusion, and unity," he explained. "Racism cannot be fought with more racism."