College Professor Is Fired After Appearance on Tucker Carlson

1498409260102We just discussed the free speech and academic freedom issues of schools investigating professors for their postings on social media.  Now we have A New Jersey college professor who was fired by Essex County College after appearing on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”  Professor Lisa Durden staunchly defended  a black-only Black Lives Matter event and caused an uproar of criticism over her highly insulting comments about  “white people.”

Durden taught communications and pop culture classes as an adjunct professor and agreed to appear on the June 6th show.  Durden came out swinging in the interview and mocked the very notion that whites could object to be excluded from a Black Lives Matter event. Her response to a basic question about racial discrimination was “Listen. What I say to that is 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!”

Durden proceeds to give a rather rambling diatribe in response to the questions. I found her appearance highly disturbing and offensive. However, she was introduced as a BLM supporter and a political commentator.  She was not referencing a matter at the college and did not suggest that she was speaking for the college in any way.


College president Anthony Munroe acknowledged that he got a lot of heat about the interview “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.”  While Durden did not associate herself or her comments with the college Munroe insisted that it did not matter:  “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 the action, Durden exhibited the same over-heated rhetoric and claimed that she had been  “publicly lynched” by the school.  She added “I thought it would be a safe place for me.  I thought when I came home from war, I would be safe.”

It is often hard to defend free speech when the speaker is displaying hateful or racist sentiments.  However, Durden was engaging in the public debate over racial exclusions and raising provocative ideas about race. There was no evidence that she had allowed these sentiments to impact or affect her teaching at the college.  As much as I disagree with her views, I do not see how her statements outside of the college should be grounds for termination.  Indeed, there is no clear standard for what statements will deemed termination grounds. Instead, it seems like the college is using a “we know it when we see it” approach.  That creates an obvious chilling effect on academics who want to participate in the public dialogue over issues like race.

What do you think?


132 thoughts on “College Professor Is Fired After Appearance on Tucker Carlson”

  1. What do you think?

    Lisa Durdan is entitled to espouse her delusional and unhinged opinions with out being fired from her job.

  2. Prof. Turley, I agree with your conclusion, however, in response to the implication that what she said was racist – do you seriously believe your experience listening to her was anything like a black person’s experience listening to a racist? Racism is a function of power and it is because of the tolerance of white people that it still exists in this country. Perhaps you feel you are on the less tolerant end of the spectrum, so what? You can give yourself a pat on the back, but you can’t equate her failure to make that qualification with racism. I don’t know if you are white, but if you are, it is fair of her to consider you part of the problem even if you do not self-identify as a white supremacist. The concept of reverse racism was created by white people to explain their discomfort hearing the righteous anger of those who have to deal with actual racism. It is a fiction and shame on you for perpetuating it.

    1. White Person – if you want to see black people who are racist, teach in the inner city. It will open your eyes. All this slavery history stuff is crap. Blacks are racist against blacks with lighter skin or darker skin, they are racist against Latinos, they are racist against Asians, they are racist against whites. They are equal opportunity racists.

      BTW, Turley’s picture is on the home page of this blog.

      1. “All this slavery history stuff is crap.”? I’m sorry, what?

        Also, the rest of your comment just affirmed my point that racism is a function of power. If you do not understand how your examples are different from a black person saying boo-hoo to “white people” then you do not understand the power dynamic inherent in racism. What she said is arguably not the most effective way to get her point across and it is certainly not responsive to the needs of white people who need her to be satisfied that they are not raging racists, but it is not racist.

        I saw his photo, thank you, I would sooner assume he was white based on his name than his photo.

        1. White Person – you would think Obama was black by photos, but he is as much white as he is black. He even had two white men ghost write his memoirs for him.

      2. I hope Prof. Turley reads these comments and sees the kinds of commenters supporting his position.

        1. White Person – you know I speak truth to power, you are just too ashamed to admit it.

    2. The “racism is a function of power” meme is just pure nonsense. That silliness was created so that racist blacks could make the argument that they are not racists, at all. And in fact, could never be racist because they don’t have the power. But that definition is only some people’s OPINION.

      Sooo, nice try, but nobody with a functioning brain is going to fall for it. Heck, even Blacks don’t fall for it:

      Among black Americans, 31% think most blacks are racist, while 24% consider most whites racist and 15% view most Hispanics that way.

      Among white adults, 10% think most white Americans are racist; 38% believe most blacks are racist, and 17% say most Hispanics are racist.

      Gee, both Blacks and Whites agree that blacks are more racist than anybody else!

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

      1. *hitting head against a wall* Thanks Prof. Turley, for bringing out the venom of the earth!!

        1. *hitting head against a wall*???

          Well there’s the reason you can’t figure out simple things! My Goodness! Stop *hitting head against a wall*, and go to an Emergency Room right now, and tell them what you have been doing. You probably have a concussion or something. Whatever you do, don’t go to sleep because you might not wake up. Now, they might require you to stay for 72 hours, and then require you to see a judge, but that is far better than self-lobotomizing your silly self.

          Squeeky Fromm
          Girl Reporter

  3. If you substitute the word “Caucasian” everytime our separatist here uses the word “Black,” you’d have her out the door of every college campus in American before the ink dried on her “resignation” letter. I see a turn-around starting on college campuses with radicals being shown the door. It started with that beta male at Evergreen holding out the possibility that, yes, students marauding around campus with baseball bats to enforce PC against their not radical enough professors might face discipline. Then Durden here and most recently even the dismissal of that buffoon at the University of Delaware, Professor Katherine Dettwyler, who victim-blamed UVA student, Otto Warmbier, for “getting exactly what he deserved” when he was murdered by North Korea. I think the pajama boys and girls are getting sent to their room with no hot chocolate tonight!

      1. RTB – Aren’t fat and ignorant redundant when used with cow?

        1. My cows are fat, but they are not ignorant. They know what they need to know.

          Still, that was a deplorable statement by Ms Newman.

            1. I’ll give you the best answer I can Paul. Have I ever had preconceived notions about someone based on their race? Probably.
              I played college basketball and also had preconceived notions about people based on height as well. Their actual play often wiped away those preconceptions as I had actual experience with the person.
              A different question is have I ever created, imposed or benefited from systemic institutionalized racism. I’m positive the answer is no.
              There are aspects of racism associated with ignorance (including my own) which generally are wiped away by maturity and experience. There are others associated with power that result in things like redlining, voter suppression, gerrymandering in some instances, representation, the way one’s community is policed and sentencing for crimes. I’m guilty of none of those.

              1. Actually, if you or any other non-white has benefitted from affirmative action in education or employment, then you have benefitted from institutionalized racism.

                1. Rather than affirmative action being institutionalized racism, it’s a response to it. Universities as an example that were “burdened” by having to accept a relatively low percentage of minority students, (e.g. 10%) had to because they at one time accepted none at all. All the while receiving public funds including from taxes paid by those denied. Their reason for being is not only to force institutions to do what they otherwise would not. The primary beneficiaries today of affirmative action programs today are women, primarily white. Going back in history, the land grant program for colleges, especially post 1890 and the 2nd Morrill Act designed to foster the creation of black colleges (so they wouldn’t have to attend white ones was more like Federally institutionalized segregation.
                  As there has never been an affirmative action program requiring education, employment, or anything, greater than or equal to the population percentages of affected groups. I look at those programs as doing enough to maintain a status quo of under representation.

                2. TIN,
                  You have it exactly right. The government replaced the long-standing unequal security of rights harming the black population with other unjust laws that harmed the white population. The original unjust laws had to be changed, but the law was unjustly used as a political weapon to secure the black voting block. It wasn’t ever going to be enough to eliminate the original unjust laws. The politicians knew that the black population wasn’t going to be satisfied with the glacier-like pace that cultures normally transform. No, equality under the law wasn’t going to be enough if they (politicians) wanted to secure themselves a voting block for generations. In general, the challenge was the black population hadn’t lost anything tangible that could be restored. How do you restore time and opportunity lost? Well, you write laws based on race that provide greater protection of the law for one race over another. You effectively punish the current generation of non-black citizens for the sins of previous generations; many of which had absolutely no connection with those previous generations other than being of the same color. Sound familiar?

                  Here is where Frederic Bastiat explains this weaponization of the law well:

                  But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.

                  Then abolish this law without delay, for it is not only an evil itself, but also it is a fertile source for further evils because it invites reprisals. If such a law — which may be an isolated case — is not abolished immediately, it will spread, multiply, and develop into a system.

                  The person who profits from this law will complain bitterly, defending his acquired rights. He will claim that the state is obligated to protect and encourage his particular industry; that this procedure enriches the state because the protected industry is thus able to spend more and to pay higher wages to the poor workingmen.

                  Do not listen to this sophistry by vested interests. The acceptance of these arguments will build legal plunder into a whole system. In fact, this has already occurred. The present-day delusion is an attempt to enrich everyone at the expense of everyone else; to make plunder universal under the pretense of organizing it.

                  Now, legal plunder can be committed in an infinite number of ways. Thus we have an infinite number of plans for organizing it: tariffs, protection, benefits, subsidies, encouragements, progressive taxation, public schools, guaranteed jobs, guaranteed profits, minimum wages, a right to relief, a right to the tools of labor, free credit, and so on, and so on. All these plans as a whole — with their common aim of legal plunder — constitute socialism.

            1. You should consider the possibility that I’m right about any number of things that we disagree about. I don’t disagree with everything you say. If you stop condemning black people for things without consideration of possible systemic causes we could start having real conversations.

              1. It’s not that I totally dismiss systemic causes, as much as I see them completely overwhelmed by the effects of the black illegitimate birth rate. I actually think there is some baseline of racist feeling by whites against blacks (and vice versa). If nothing else, from people who were alive in 1960, who were racists, and are still alive today. Or who were young adults in 1960, were racists, and influenced their children in that fashion.

                But how could that ever be determined when such a huge number of blacks seem determined to live up (or perhaps down) to every racist stereotype that ever existed 60 years ago. How do you untangle it? How do you distinguish between racist or a segregationist thought in 1960, to where no one wanted blacks in their kid’s high school, and 2017, when any parent, black, Asian, hispanic or white, with a lick of sense doesn’t want their kid going to a predominantly black high school?

                In 1960, one might clearly be racist, or maybe only bigoted or prejudiced, but do any of those concepts still apply in 2017??/ Because I don’t think so. And if they did, how would one ever unravel the racism from the legitimate safety and education concerns. Is 5% racism, and 95% common sense. That’s kind of where I lean. Towards any systemic or background racism being irrelevant.

                Add to that, the cynical actions of the Democratic Party establishment in fostering feelings of racial animus to get votes and stay in power. For example, there was no need for Obama to pine over Poor Trayvon Martin, as if he were his son, a few years ago. The kid was clearly beating someone’s head into the concrete, and Obama, and his Administration, could have made that into a teachable moment – – – ala— Don’t go around attacking people and banging their heads into the concrete, and you won’t get shot. But he didn’t. Instead, he stirred the racial pot.

                I will assure, as an Official Representative of the White Race, that had Trayvon been white, and Zimmerman black, white people would not have felt one bit of pity for Trayvon. They would not have blamed Zimmerman for popping a cap off in him.

                But the pot stirring don’t stop there. The Democrats are all over the illegal Hispanic immigration thing, and for what purpose I do not understand. We have jobless, and under skilled workers here in the millions. Disproportionately black, and the most negatively affected by the influx of cheap labor, and yet still the Democrats push for millions of Hispanics, so they can put them on the path to citizenship, and get their vote.

                And do you hear many Establishment Type Blacks complaining about it? Nope, not a word. Sooo, what do you think that does to people like me taking anything Democratic Party type blacks say with any degree of credibility, on any topic. If they can swallow that illegal alien watermelon whole, without even slicing it up, then it makes me not believe a word they say on anything else. I tend to view them simply as Democratic Party shills.

                Squeeky Fromm
                Girl Reporter

                1. I get a sense it is your feeling that racism once existed and was a very bad thing but at some point in time (maybe the 1960’s) it was more or less eradicated and that at some point instead of people just harping on it and whining they should just get on with their lives and pick themselves up by their bootstraps. Close?

                  1. Not really eradicated, but greatly reduced in impact by the effect of the Great Society Programs which incentivized bad and irresponsible behavior in the black community. It happened in the white community, too, but not to such a large degree.

                    Now, with a 72% black illegitimate birth rate, whatever “old racism” remains is irrelevant. It would be like a fire inspector in Tokyo, who is called to investigate a string of arsons. On the way to Hiroshima, the city is nuked. Now, when he gets there, was arson a problem? Maybe, but who would know. Same with racism. maybe it was there, but the illegitimate birth bomb obliviated any sign of it.

                    And, there is starting to be something new replacing it. I don’t know if it is accurate to call it a “new racism”, because it is no longer some sort of a innate racial superiority feeling among whites, as much as it is a growing awareness of significant black inferiority, firmly based on observation and experience. .

                    Most white people I know don’t think that it applies to all blacks, and are quite able to realize that some black people are just as smart and hardworking as anybody else, and not in that group of whatever you want to call them. But that group does exist, and is pretty large. Blacks don’t achieve a 72% illegitimate birth rate by a few outliers here and there. Whites, at least where I live, sort of do a subconscious “B or N” analysis, which I will leave to you to decipher. We don’t think it’s the whole black race that acts that way, but enough blacks do act poorly, for us to be leery, and on our guard. So, does that make us racists, or realists? I go with the latter.

                    I have previously suggested that you get a copy of Taleeb Starkes’ book, The Uncivil War, or Jason Riley’s book, Quit Helping Us. I watch a lot of Larry Elder’s videos, or have them on in the background when I am doing something else. I have one Larry Elder book coming in, and will be ordering a second one later on this week, and I will let you know how they are. In the meantime, here is a video you may like, or hate:


                    Squeeky Fromm
                    Girl Reporter

                    1. Let’s focus for a moment on the 72% illegitimacy rate you cite so often. You might infer that black women are going out having babies willy-nilly without any concern or respect for having two parents. You may or may not be surprised to know that the birth rate among black women is actually declining. Black women are choosing to have less babies.
                      You acknowledge there is such a thing as systemic causes. One significant factor is the mass incarceration of predominantly black males due to policies conceived and carried out under both Republican and Democrat Administrations. Today, the disparity of sentencing for crack cocaine vs. powdered cocaine has been reduced to 18:1 from a high of 100:1. I won’t get too conspiratorial as to how and why crack was introduced to the black community but I think we can agree that usage wise black people use more crack and get much stronger sentences. The effect is the removal of black males from circulation and those that return aren’t the best candidates for marriage. The increase in illegitimacy rates tracks with the increase in incarceration rates. Of course black women could simply choose to have no children and fail to propagate the race which could be the goal as well and relative to hispanics and whites whose birth rates are increasing, is working to a degree.
                      I’m quite familiar with Larry Elder and others with whom I disagree but have not shut myself off from their ideas.
                      I’d be happy to discuss any of the other topics you raised but when multiple things get discussed in a single post. Things tend to get lost.

                    2. enigma – don’t tell me you think a bunch of white guys were pushing crack in the ‘hood.

                    3. It took me a second to realize you were responding to my comments to Squeeky. I really wasn’t trying to get caught up in that conversation which has no chance here to be decried as anything as fake news. I suggest you Google, “Iran Contra Crack” and pore through the wealth of information available. The CIA, which technically was “a bunch of white guys” had involvement to some degree. Removing that from the equation. The sentencing disparity has always been devastating and is now only less so. It does target minorities but “a bunch of mainly white guys (Congress) is satisfied they’ve done enough in that regard.

                    4. enignma – keep me updated. I won’t be watching, but I am a Singleton fan. I hope the series does well for him.

                    5. I did want to also say that in my opinion, racism has not been “greatly reduced” but taken a more palatable form which is the history of our nation.

                    6. To Enigma

                      That is your opinion. I just got in Larry Elder’s book, Ten Things You Can’t Say in America. It was written in 2000. So too, appear to be your responses in 2017.

                      As far as Snowfall, I am not going to watch it. I think there are a couple of the new Twin Peaks episodes I need to watch, and two episodes of IZombie.

                      Squeeky Fromm
                      Girl Reporter

  4. WOW. The only racist person is Miss Durden. She has the right to free speech no doubt. But so does the college and if the college wants to exercise their right they can also. Thats what free speech is all about opening it up for discussion. I’m not as educated as you smart people here on this discussion, I have no formal education but I do have common sense and free speech is what will help us to become more informed of what those around us think and believe and I’m all for that. As far as hiring someone based on what they say or don’t say is just a stupid comment. I hire people based on qualifications and nothing more. If they can do the job and help the team then they’re hired. If later they cause problems for the team or division then I would make a decision on their employment.

    1. True enough, but you are ignoring that some jobs have different needs/influence. If all I needed was a bolt turner and they were a racist pig, as long as they are the best bolt turner I could care less. But if the job requires interaction or influencing others, then I would probably pass on the racist regardless how “qualified” they might be.

      Then again, if the choice was between 2 bolt turners close in skill level, I would probably go with the non-racist since more than likely the team will be in more harmony with the racist looking foe employment elsewhere.

  5. This is a state school/Public College. She has a good first Amendment claim under both the federal and NJ First Amendment. This makes a big difference legall. I’m surprised JT did not mention this.

    1. Waylon Allen – if they are black, they are black. If they are white, they are white. Personally, as I used to tell my students, I am so white I am almost translucent.

  6. This professor is a ticking time bomb. She is the cause of hate crimes so unprofessional and a nasty attitude.

  7. The smart money wagers that she’s an obnoxious and troubled individual who has for some time been a headache for various parties at the community college where she works. Last straw, and all that.

    The ‘free speech’ issue comes to the fore because she’s a public employee.

    Academic institutions take people with (certain) problems and then feed and cultivate the problems. Recall the KC Johnson imbroglio at Brooklyn College, which concerned whether male applicants for an open position in the history department should be excluded from consideration a priori. The department chair tells Johnson, “We need a woman we can live with, not someone who needs therapy as much as she needs a job.” Academics playing status games hire damaged people who are immersed in a labor discipline regime which makes problems worse. Ordinary employers are much less tolerant of people who need therapy as much as they need a job.

    1. I think this is likely, I have worked with similar individuals myself where this type of behavior was a chronic problem. I am a staunch supporter of free speech, but I also believe in proffessionalism – her employers were within their rights, in my opinion (though there would have been a heart to heart talk first, I would have fired her, too). Had she been drawing mature, intelligent attention to an issue it would be a different story, but she is so full of ignorance and venom I have to assume she is abrasive and closed-minded in other areas of her life as well. Glad they had the guts to let her go, she is still free to rant on her own time all she likes. Ignorance, vitriol, and rage serve precisely no one, and they have no place in the working world of adults.

  8. While everybody debates firing of professor Durden in Newark, NJ, it was another bloody night in Newark, NJ. 2 shot dead. Radical black spaces matter. Going to Essex County College in Newark, NJ is risky.

  9. Consider the Yale Dean fired for 2 snarky “that hurt my feelings” mildly offensive Yelp reviews. It seems for some that their own black racism is invisible.

    1. She’s a dean. Job 1 is ‘no incidents, please. She revealed herself in the Yelp reviews to be a Class A jack-wagon.

      1. Nah.
        No double standards here should be tolerated.
        What you say outside of your job, that can be shown not to be involving your job, is protected speech, OR
        What you say outside of your job is to be used as grounds to impute what you will do/say in your job and can be grounds for sanction.

        I prefer the former, but if they are going to be cracking down on the latter, then it has to be equal and across the board.

        1. Gary,

          I will poss the question that I asked in another post. If you knew of this interview and she came to your business looking for a job, would you hold it against her? Or would you say, eh, that was her exercising free speech, how bad could she be, welcome aboard?

        2. No double standards here should be tolerated.

          I haven’t stated any double standards. Dr. Chu was an employee of a private institution who made an ass of herself on the internet, mostly by stating explicitly things the faculty believe but do not articulate. She’s not a faculty member who trades in ideas. She’s a student affairs apparatchik. The institution might just have an interest in seeing to it that the person to whom the director of counseling reports and the person who makes the call to put someone on probation or to expel them not be someone who has beclowned themself.

  10. I guess I look at this way. If she had done this interview and the next day she was applying for this job, would you hire her? Or, would you say to yourself, this person probably shouldn’t be “teaching” kids and there must be someone better than this out there. Next resume please.

    1. Good point. But, I wonder what job Miss Durden would be qualified for? She is ditzy as all get out, and has a bad, belligerent, and bellicose attitude. Hmmm. Oh! The Department of Motor Vehicles!

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

      1. Motor Vehicle job I like that she would be great working here. She has a nasty attitude I was embarrassed listening to her rant like a crazy person.

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