Imagine if Aruna Khilanani had given a talk with quotes like, “I had fantasies of unloading a revolver into the head of any black person”.
Anyone can chart the series of firings, bans, and blocks on any further work that would have rightfully followed. It won’t though because instead of “black”, she said, “white”. And that makes all the difference. It means that media coverage of this will focus on how Aruna is the victim and how she was traumatized by having “right-wing media” focus on her horrifying remarks.
(This is actually the second post of the day that draws on work from Katie Herzog at Bari Weiss’ substack, who are liberals.)
A few weeks ago, someone sent me a recording of a talk called “The Psychopathic Problem of the White Mind.” It was delivered at the Yale School of Medicine’s Child Study Center by a New York-based psychiatrist as part of Grand Rounds, an ongoing program in which clinicians and others in the field lecture students and faculty.
This is the cost of talking to white people at all. The cost of your own life, as they suck you dry. There are no good apples out there. White people make my blood boil. (Time stamp: 6:45)
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 fucking favor. (Time stamp: 7:17)
White people are out of their minds and they have been for a long time. (Time stamp: 17:06)
We are now in a psychological predicament, because white people feel that we are bullying them when we bring up race. They feel that we should be thanking them for all that they have done for us. They are confused, and so are we. We keep forgetting that directly talking 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. (Time stamp 17:13)
We need to remember that directly talking about race to white people is useless, because they are at the wrong level of conversation. Addressing racism assumes that white people can see and process what we are talking about. They can’t. That’s why they sound demented. They don’t even know they have a mask on. White people think it’s their actual face. We need to get to know the mask. (Time stamp 17:54)
This is like reading someone’s deranged paranoid schizophrenic breakdown. And there’s plenty more on Aruna’s Facebook.
I have actually listened to schizoid rants that sound a lot like this complete with the obsessive ‘othering’ and the conviction that they are the only sane ones left in a world of monsters.
Did I mention that Aruna Khilanani is a psychiatrist?
Her official bio lists affiliations with Bellevue and Weil Cornell New York-Presbyterian.
What’s really revealing here is the way that Aruna works backward to project her own issues on to an entire race of people.
“Critical theory is about how you are positioned in the world. Ever since I was a little kid, since I’ve interacted with people who are white, and especially white women, I would notice that things were really off. So what I’ve done by going through psychoanalytic training, which is all about getting in touch with the unconscious, is literally work backwards. I’m like, “Ok, I’ve noticed that white people tend to put me in certain roles. White women will experience me this way, white men will experience me this way.” I’m going to use psychoanalysis to work backwards and treat all of this as a projection to see what I can learn about their mind.”
It might have been more helpful if Aruna had worked on her own mind instead.
“People of color, myself included, suffer from being positioned in the world, psychologically, and the stuff that goes with it: violence, this, that,” Aruna states at one point.
While she’s got a background in Black Studies, Aruna appears to be Indian. I don’t know her precise background, but Indians in America are hardly an oppressed minority. They are quite successful. As Aruna appears to be.
Senator Kamala Harris put on this same routine when her mother was a successful doctor from the Brahmin caste.
The rest of the interview is deranged. Aruna claims that gluten allergies are a symptom of white guilt for stealing everyone else’s ideas. (That’s the best I can do with her deranged ravings.) And that she was also getting rid of minorities who disagreed with her because they were really white on the inside.
You say in your talk, “I got rid of the couple white BIPOCs that snuck in my crew too.” What is a white BIPOC?
It’s someone who has internalized a lot of these thoughts. It’s the same thing.
Then Aruna blames Yale’s IT problems on racism.
There were a lot of delays before Yale posted it. They said they were going to put out the talk the following Monday and that they had received a ton of requests for this talk so they wanted to get it up quickly. And then it didn’t happen. People started emailing them requesting the talk and they got very different responses. First they were saying that there were some technical difficulties and then they told another person that this was a chronic issue and that there are many other talks that need to be released and they need to go in order. That was brand new. Like, if you’ve been working on this for six weeks, why not say that before? “It’s white amnesia, I just suddenly remembered that we are having this IT difficulty. Whoops!”
It’s all a conspiracy.
Two obvious things emerge here.
1. Aruna Khilanani is really angry. And she’s projecting all that anger onto white people and presumably making a good living doing it.
2. She shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near patients of any color.
But these days the inmates are running the asylum.
“I have a private practice in Morningside Heights of Manhattan, devoted to the treatment of mental illness, psychopharmacology, and psychotherapy. I am also a psychoanalyst.”
That’s two pseudosciences for the price of one.
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