June 7, 2021

"Too much of the discourse on race is a dry, bland regurgitation of new vocabulary words with no work in the unconscious. 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.... Something is emotionally dangerous about opening up a conversation about race.... 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.... My work is important. And, I stand by it. We need to heal in this country."

Said Dr. Aruna Khilanani, quoted in "A Psychiatrist Invited to Yale Spoke of Fantasies of Shooting White People/The Yale School of Medicine said the tone and content of a lecture by Dr. Aruna Khilanani, who has a private practice in New York, were 'antithetical to the values of the school'" (NYT). 

What  Khilanani said in her lecture really was awful: 

“This is the cost of talking to white people at all — the cost of your own life, as they suck you dry,” Dr. Khilanani said in the lecture, which drew widespread attention after Bari Weiss, a former writer and editor for the opinion department of The New York Times, posted an audio recording of it on Substack on Friday.

“There are no good apples out there. White people make my blood boil.” Dr. Khilanani added that around five years ago, “I took some actions.”

“I systematically white-ghosted most of my white friends, and I got rid of the couple white BIPOCs that snuck in my crew, too,” she said, using an acronym for Black and Indigenous people and people of color.

“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 favor,” she said, adding an expletive.

Later in the lecture, Dr. Khilanani, who said she is of Indian descent, described the futility of trying to talk directly to white people about race, calling it 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,” she said. “It ain’t going to happen. They have five holes in their brain.”

ADDED: Khilanani has lots of TikTok videos, which you can see here.


Ann Althouse said...

MikeR writes:

"Hmm. I see that the Overton Window has, uh, shifted? It was like maybe five minutes ago when this person would carefully hide her views, lest she be recognized as a maybe dangerous lunatic. Imagine that someone thinks they can say this in public."

Ann Althouse said...

Temujin writes:

"No one wants to look at their actions or face their own negative feelings about what they are doing."

Says the psychiatrist who sounds quite literally nuts and is clearly carrying around her own negative 'feelings' that should require some couch time. This is not a person who should be teaching anyone about anything, let alone getting paid to stop in at one of our supposedly elite learning institutions to lend a bit of 'knowledge'.

Ever wonder why our young people seem so unmoored?

Ann Althouse said...

Birches writes:

"I call BS on Dr. Khilanani's defense that she was just trying to get people to "work in the unconscious." I read the accompanying — http://bariweiss.substack.com/p/the-psychopathic-problem-of-the-white — interview with her on Bari Weiss's substack. It was just as deranged as the lecture. Is she going to claim that the interview was also a LARP to get readers to "work in the unconscious?" Right. I'm very convinced."

Ann Althouse said...

Joseph writes: "Sounds like Yale doesn't believe in creating safe spaces for people based upon the color of their skin? Shocking."

Ann Althouse said...

Joe writes:

"Says the psychiatrist who sounds quite literally nuts and is clearly carrying around her own negative 'feelings' that should require some couch time."

The combination of words above reminded me of this joke:

A man walks into a psychiatrist's office wearing nothing but Saran Wrap.

The psychiatrist says, "I can clearly see you're nuts."

Ann Althouse said...

Carol writes:

"Ann, I read some of her speech and was as appalled as anyone about it, but yesterday I began to think that maybe in her practice she's had to listen to too many neurotic white liberal NYC patients stress about how woke or antiracist they are, and wouldn't that drive just about anyone over the edge? LOL"

Ann Althouse said...

Rob writes:

"I was trying to imagine a session with the good doctor that a middle class white male might experience, and suddenly realized: it’s Death Therapy from that Murray/Dreyfuss 90s vehicle! Apparently, “What About Bob” has become a pedagogic film for today’s shrinks, as “The Many Faces of Eve” was for another generation."

Ann Althouse said...

Sydney writes:

I am left wondering what makes a person of Pakistani descent an expert on how it feels to be black. Her website is written in language that reads like someone trying to pretend to be an inner city Black:

I deal with real Black people all the time, many from the inner city, and they don't talk like that. She's a poseur. And if you read her interview with Herzog at the Bari Weiss substack that impression is reinforced. The interview is well worth the read

One of her personal examples of racism was the perceived unjust nature of her residency call schedule. Everyone thinks their residency call schedule is unfair to them.

Ann Althouse said...

John writes:

From a comment you posted, I found the interview of Dr. Khilanani om Bari Weiss' Substack. It is fascinating! Hats off to BW for letting her speak for herself.

What became evident to me very quickly is that Dr. Khilanani's experience with "white" people is limited to the class of educated white liberals regularly lampooned by conservatives. What came out to me was how limited her world must be to generalize so much based on such a small sample. I guess she talks to a lot of people with gluten allergies, which she regards as subsumed guilt for being white. It's a pretty interesting interview.

I didn't come away with the idea that she hates white people. I think she holds them in contempt. She regards them as inauthentic hypocrites. They won't voice their true opinions. They feel guilty about race but won't do anything substantive to change how things are. It's all empty talk. This is remarkably like a conservative critique of "limousine liberals."

Finally, I really got the sense that she doesn't respect the white people she meets because they won't stand up for themselves. She's perfectly willing to say how she feels and why, in public, and they are not. She regards them as cowards. That's a basis for feeling morally superior, which she certainly does. It's not about white people being powerful at all. It's weakness she hates.

It's a bit scary that someone with such a blinkered worldview is a top-tier psychiatrist. She doesn't understand her own limitations at all. It's pretty clear no one has seriously challenged her beliefs. The interview is a great window into a racist mind.

Ann Althouse said...

Assistant Village Idiot writes:

I spent my career working in a psychiatric hospital. Dr. Khilanani has missed one of the most basic points. Her job is to treat individual patients, not society. She's not the first psychiatrist I have known who developed the idea that she has something she has to share with the world, though neither her training nor her experience have given her anything useful there. Her condition is treatable by working with poor and desperate people in public mental health centers, so that she can get over herself.