On Monday, appearing with host Roland Martin on News One, Essex County College professor Lisa Durden, a Black Lives Matter supporter who was suspended and eventually fired after her incendiary appearance with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, said she had been attacked for the views she had expressed because she is black. There's one problem with that claim: Essex County College President Anthony E. Munroe and Jeffrey Lee, vice president for academic affairs, who were instrumental in her suspension and ultimate firing, are also black.
Lee wrote the letter informing Durden she had been suspended; Monroe released a statement after Durden was fired stating that a “fair and thorough review” of Durden’s comments was assessed, and the college decided that they could no longer “maintain an employment relationship with the adjunct.” Monroe had stated after Durden appeared with Carlson, “Racism cannot be fought with more racism.”
Speaking with Carlson and defending a Black Lives Matter Memorial Day celebration that was “blacks-only,” Durden had ranted, “This particular day, they said, ‘Stay your asses out! We want to celebrate today.’ We don’t want anybody going against us today.”
Recalling that the day she was suspended she was escorted to her class to tell them that her class was being canceled, Durden told Martin that she had previously told her class that if she wasn’t in her class by one quarter-hour after it started, she was “either dead or the cops have stopped me on the street.”
Martin snidely commented, “Well, that could be the same thing.”
Martin’s compatriot Tom Joyner instructed Durden, “Professor, you are not apologizing for what you said.”
Durden responded, “Tom Joyner, I love you. I love you. No. I am not going to.”
Durden said that the complaints the college got about her appearance were from “imaginary people.” She acknowledged that both Lee and Monroe were black, provoking surprise from the panel.
Then Durden claimed she had been attacked for her appearance on Fox because she was black, saying:
I marched in there to debate with him; I’m not there to be nice to you. When a black woman is on television, who is direct, who is aggressive, we’re angry. Well, when Judge Jeanine Pirro is on TV, pointing and screaming and yelling, she is intelligent. When Nancy Grace is coming on television, she’s an intelligent. Well, I’m an expert; I’m a journalist and a documentary filmmaker that also does feature films, so I’m in front of a camera and behind the camera, so why can’t I come on there and be aggressive and talk in the same vein as any expert in the field of pop culture, politics and social issues? Those are my expertise (sic). I have a degree from Seton Hall University in journalism. Stop playin’. So when I do it, I’m not intelligent; when they do it; they’re amazing.