Identity of Speakers
Invited for academic lecture
Aruna Khilanani is a Manhattan-based psychiatrist.
Incident Political Orientation:
- No protest Occured
- Did not involve Speech Codes
Dr. Aruna Khilanani is a Manhattan-based psychiatrist. On April 6, 2021, Khilanani delivered a livestreamed lecture at Yale University called “Psychopathic Problem of the White Mind,” which was billed as a way to contextualize “Karen” and “right not to wear masks” videos circulating on the internet. Khilanani told her audience that she had fantasies of killing white people. After the journalist Bari Weiss posed an audio recording of the lecture on Substack, the talk went viral, with conservative commenters called her statements racist and “evil.”
In June, the Yale School of Medicine said that it would restrict access to the recording of Khilanani’s lecture only to those who could have attended the talk when it took place, calling it “antithetical to the values of the school.” Khilanani said that her words had been “taken out of context,” and that her prefaced remarks were “provocation as a tool for real engagement.” Jonathan Friedman, the director of free expression and education at PEN America, said in a statement that “[l]imiting access to Khilanani’s talk runs counter to the university’s own commitment to freedom of expression, in what appears to be an unusual exception being made because of objections to the content of her remarks.”