Former Essex County College adjunct professor Lisa Durden is now suing her former employer for firing her after she made comments supporting Black Lives Matter on Fox News, according to reports.
The controversy stems from Durden’s 2017 appearance on Tucker Carlson’s show on Fox News where she defended Black Lives Matter celebrating a Blacks-only Memorial Day celebration. Durden participated in what many called a “heated” exchange with Carlson on-air.
“You white people are angry because you couldn’t use your white privilege card to get invited,” she said on the show.
Durden was initially suspended for two days; however, the college’s president, Dr. Anthony Munroe, who is Black, claimed he received numerous complaints and fired her two weeks later.
An investigation by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education revealed that only one person contacted the school to complain about Durden’s appearance outside of complaints posted on social media.
Reports indicate that Durden filed a lawsuit in Essex County Superior Court April 9 seeking damages, back pay and her job back. She claims her state civil rights were violated.
During her appearance on Fox News, Durden didn’t say she was speaking for Essex County College nor did she say she was a professor.
“These kinds of actions by government institutions are really chilling people’s speech and makes them hesitant to speak out and exercise their rights guaranteed in the federal and state constitutions,” said Durden’s attorney, Leslie Farber.
Essex County College has not commented on the lawsuit, citing that that the school does not speak on ongoing litigation.