Yale University placed restrictive access to the lecture recording of a guest psychiatrist after her controversial remarks about white people in an online talk.
What happened: Dr. Aruna Khilanani, a forensic psychiatrist and psychoanalyst with a private practice in New York and not affiliated with Yale, was invited to do a lecture on April 6 as part of the School of Medicine’s Grand Rounds, according to The New York Times.
- A flier for the online talk, titled “The Psychopathic Problem of the White Mind,” described its “learning objectives” as understanding “how white people are psychologically dependent on black rage,” National Review reported.
- At one point in the lecture, Khilanani described how she has fantasies of “unloading a revolver into the head of any white person that got in my way, burying their body and wiping my bloody hands as I walked away relatively guiltless with a bounce in my step, like I did the world a f***ing favor.”
- Khilanani said talking to white people about the subject of race is “a waste of our breath,” adding, “We are asking a demented, violent predator who thinks that they are a saint or a superhero, to accept responsibility. It ain’t gonna happen.”
Other details: An audio copy of the lecture was posted online by journalist Katie Herzog on Substack and a subsequent interview where she spoke with Khilanani afterward.
- In an email last Saturday, Khilanani said her words were taken out of context to “control the narrative,” explaining her lecture “used provocation as a tool for real engagement.
- “My speaking metaphorically about my own anger was a method for people to reflect on negative feelings. To normalize negative feelings. Because if you don’t, it will turn into a violent action,” she said.
- Her lecture was reportedly well-received at Yale, with one of the listeners, a Black woman, thanking her for giving “voice to us as people of color and what we go through all the time.”
Restriction: Although Yale initially planned to release the lecture, the university ultimately decided to restrict access to the talk without informing the doctor, Khilanani revealed in a TikTok post last month.
@arunakhilananiMy talk at Yale Child Study Center was just released internally. Unnamed and untitled like the privilege it protects. #yale #childstudycenter♬ Epic Emotional – AShamaluevMusic
- Several faculty members expressed concern at Khilanani’s remarks in the lecture. After consulting with the chairwoman of the Child Study Center and reviewing the recording, they deemed the “tone and content antithetical to the values of the school.”
- The recording can now only be accessed by those with university ID, Herzog reported.
- Nicholas A. Christakis, a professor at Yale and one of the faculty members who criticized Khilanani’s remarks, took to social media to talk about the matter.
The racism expressed by Dr. Aruna Khilanani in a Grand Rounds at Yale, just released by @bariweiss & @kittypurrzog, is deeply worrisome & counter-productive. Of course, as an invitee, she is free to speak on campus. But her views must be soundly rejected. https://t.co/9KoFtOXOG9
— Nicholas A. Christakis (@NAChristakis) June 4, 2021
Featured Image via @arunakhilanani