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Yale calls lecture with fantasy about shooting white people 'antithetical' to school's values

The Yale Child Study Center added a trigger warning to video of the lecture, "The Psychopathic Problem of the White Mind," and made it accessible only to the Yale community.

Yale University said it had made private a video that featured a guest lecturer expressing fantasies about committing violence against white people, but audio of the lecture was leaked online over the weekend.

The Yale Child Study Center Grand Rounds talk, called "The Psychopathic Problem of the White Mind," by Dr. Aruna Khilanani, was streamed live on Zoom on April 6. After a review by administrators, the lecture was found to have "tone and content antithetical to the values of the school," the Yale School of Medicine said in a statement.

IMAGE: The Yale Child Study Center in New Haven, Conn.
The Yale Child Study Center in New Haven, Conn.Google Maps

"In deciding whether to post the video, we weighed our grave concern about the extreme hostility, imagery of violence, and profanity expressed by the speaker against our commitment to freedom of expression," the medical school said. "We ultimately decided to post the video with access limited to those who could have attended the talk — the members of the Yale community."

The school said it added a disclaimer before the video warning of profanity and violent imagery.

In leaked audio of the lecture posted online Friday in the newsletter of the writer and commentator Bari Weiss, Khilanani warned attendees of the Zoom lecture that her talk would probably "provoke a lot of responses."

"I want you to just maybe observe them in yourselves — are you having moral response to what I'm saying, is it a thought, is it a feeling, is it an action, and how does this relate to race?" Khilanani asked.

A cached website advertising the April 6 talk framed it as engaging with broader conversations that have emerged during the coronavirus pandemic and in the wake of George Floyd's murder.

"Everyone is talking about race right now. Especially white people," the cached website said. "And yet, white people seem to be losing it. The number of Karen and 'It's my right to not wear a mask ' videos are exploding. How do we understand this psychologically?"

In the lecture, which touches upon anger at experiencing racism from a therapist in a psychoanalysis setting, Khilanani said, "When we get angry, they use our responses as confirmation that we are crazy or have emotional problems. It always ends that way.

"Except nothing makes me angrier than a white person who tells me not to be angry," Khilanani said.

She continued: "White people make my blood boil."

"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---ing favor," she said.

Khilanani did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In a series of videos shared to TikTok in recent weeks, she said Yale administrators first described the delay in uploading her video as the result of a series of technical errors. Khilanani's TikTok posts described the disclaimer and restricted settings on the video as "suppression."