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NJ college: Professor fired for racially insensitive remarks

28 June 2017

A New Jersey college has defended the firing of an African-American adjunct professor who engaged in a racially charged war of words with Fox News' host Tucker Carlson on national TV earlier this month.

She addressed the school board in a public meeting on June 20 and was sacked shortly thereafter, according to NJ.com. It has a large black student population and its new president, Munroe, is black.

Durden never identified herself as associated with the college during the interview.

"The college affirms it's right to select employees who represent the institution appropriately and are aligned with our mission", he said.

"The character of this institution mandates that we embrace diversity, inclusion and unity", the president said Friday, June 23, in an emailed statement.

Munroe addressed first amendment concerns in the statement that have arisen over Durden's suspension, saying the school values free speech and academic freedom, but believes that the "health and well being" of students trumps any personal views held by an adjunct.

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The controversy began after Durden's appearance, during which she 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.

Durden, who is black, discussed a Memorial Day event held exclusively for black people hosted by a Black Lives Matter group in NY.

Durden's attorney, Leslie Farber, said she believes her client's free speech rights were violated.

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

Durden spoke with Roland Martin about all of this, and she expressed confusion about the circumstances that led to her firing.

"I thought the whole point of Black Lives Matter. would be to speak out against singling people out on the basis of their race and punishing them for that", Carlson kicked off the interview. She did not choose the subject of the conversation, she said.

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After the heated debate aired, the college took action, rebuking Durden's comments.

Defending the chapter's decision, Durden said, "Boo-hoo-hoo". But if Professor Durden was going to learn anything about this incident (and I doubt she would have), suspending her would have been an effective statement of disapproval without causing her to lose her job.

Durden compared her experience to that of a rape victim blamed for the crime, or a person returning to a hostile environment from war.

She added, "Why can't I come on there and be aggressive and talk in the same vein as any expert in the fields of pop culture, politics and social issues?"

"I was publicly lynched", Durden claimed in an interview with The Washington Post following news she had been let go.

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NJ college: Professor fired for racially insensitive remarks