Was Dr. Aruna Khilanani Right In Tarring Every White Person With The Same Brush on The Subject Matter of Race And Racism?

Adebayo Adeniran
4 min readJun 20, 2021

A brief dissection of the underpinnings of systemic racism.

Danny Lines Via Unsplash

In an audio speech that has now gone viral across the world, we hear Dr. Aruna Khilanani, an eminent forensic psychiatrist and psychoanalyst talk about her fantasy in killing any white person, who stood in her way and not feeling guilty or apologetic about it in any way, shape or form.

As expected, the furore and backlash was swift, so much so that Yale college of medicine was forced to put out a statement, distancing themselves from the comments of their professor:

The tone and content is antithetical to the values of the school. We ultimately decided to post the video with limited access to those who could have attended the talk

But what exactly were her comments and were they taken out of context, in the very first place?

In an interview with Marc Lamont, Dr. Khilanani gets to carefully explain the reason and rationale for the extreme statement that she made, which was to access unconscious feelings in white people on the profoundly complex issues of race and racism and the chronic inability of white people to see themselves as anything other than benign and benevolent.

Dr. Khilanani goes to explain that it is almost impossible to talk to white people without their being defensive.

In the leaked recording, she is heard saying:

This is the cost of talking to White people. The cost of your own life is they suck you dry. There are no good apples out there. White people make my blood boil.

When asked about the comments above, she explains that while white people are prepared to accept that there are systemic issues of race, they are always completely unprepared to accept how their behaviour as individuals perpetuates inequality.

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Adebayo Adeniran

A lifelong bibliophile, who seeks to unleash his energy on as many subjects as possible