NYC psychiatrist who spoke on her 'fantasies’ of killing white people defends controversial lecture

Dr Aruna Khilanani, a New York City-based psychiatrist who said during a Yale University panel discussion that she had fantasies of killing white people is now defending her comments after widespread backlash.

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

Dr Aruna Khilanani, aa New York City-based psychiatrist who said during a Yale University panel discussion that she had fantasies of killing white people is now defending her comments after widespread backlash, the Daily Mail reports.

In an email to the New York Times Saturday, Khilanani, who is of Indian descent, defended her comments, saying that her words had been taken out of context in what she calls an attempt to "control the narrative" around race.

"Too much of the discourse on race is a dry, bland regurgitation of new vocabulary words with no work in the unconscious," wrote Khilanani. "And, if you want to hit the unconscious, you will have to feel real negative feelings."

"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," said Khilanani, who said that she does not regret her choice of words.

"No one wants to look at their actions or face their own negative feelings about what they are doing. The best way to control the narrative is to focus on me, and make me the problem, which is what I stated occurs in the dynamic of racism. She wrote. "My work is important. And, I stand by it. We need to heal in this country."

Khilanani’s virtual talk, which was originally given to medical students and staff in April on an invite by the Yale School of Medicine's Child Study Center, went viral after journalist Bari Weiss posted the 50-minute audio of the lecture to her Substack Friday.

The talk, titled The Psychopathic Problem of the White Mind, speaks on the exhaustion that arises from explaining racism to white people.

"This is the cost of talking to white people at all — the cost of your own life, as they suck you dry,' she said, adding that "There are no good apples out there. White people make my blood boil."

Khilanani said she had cut white people from her friends group, stating "“I systematically white-ghosted most of my white friends, and I got rid of the couple white BIPOCs that snuck in my crew, too."

"I had 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-cking favor," said Khilanani.

Khilanani goes on to say that talking with white poepl about race is "a waste of our breath."

"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. They have five holes in their brain. It's like banging your head against a brick wall. It's just like sort of not a good idea," she said.

Khilanani’s lecture was met with criticism across the internet. Yale professor Nicholas Christakis called the racism presented in her lecture "deeply worrisome & counter-productive."

"Most human beings have disturbing fantasies, and this can be a proper topic for discussion,' he added. 'People's actions are more important than their thoughts or words," Christakis tweeted.

"It's her line of argument, leaving aside her sharing of her fantasies, that is problematic and racist," Christakis said.

Khilanani’s practice was bombed with numerous one-star reviews over the weekend, with her rating dropping to 1.2 out of five.

Despite saying that her lecture initially received positive feedback from students and faculty, Yale University restricted access to footage of the panel discussion, with her talk being released only internally.

Yale limited access to the video to those who were invited to talk, and added a disclaimer stating that her lecture did not reflect views of the university.

"This video contains profanity and imagery of violence," the disclaimer states. "Yale School of Medicine expects the members of our community to speak respectfully to one another and to avoid the use of profanity as a matter of professionalism and acknowledgment of our common humanity. Yale School of Medicine does not condone imagery of violence or racism against any group."


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