Prejudice Will Kill You

By Art Buchwald (at Home) (From N. Y. Herald Tribune, Mar. 26, 1964)


The Mount of the House of the Lord

The Mount of the House of the Lord



Washington -It has not been released yet and the Surgeon General's office will deny it, but there is a top secret report in the files proving that prejudice causes cancer.

The statistics show it also causes ulcers, heart disease and liver trouble.

Doctors studied 14,673 cases and discovered that prejudiced people died earlier than those who were not prejudiced. The nervous system is apparently affected as well as the bile and other organs of the body.

The results of the study show that people who were prejudiced on race, color, and religion had a much shorter life span than people who showed no prejudices. It also indicated that people who had three prejudices a day were far more affected than people who had only one prejudice a day.

It is believed, that when the report is released, prejudiced people all over America will protest their findings. They are expected to point out that prejudice is one of the big industries in the United States, and the report could cause unemployment and great financial loss to the economy.

Prejudice gives people pleasure, and anything that gives people pleasure should not be outlawed, the opponents of the report say.

"You cant outlaw prejudice," a spokesman for the prejudice industry told us when we discussed the report with him.

"But this is not only a moral question, but a matter of health," we said. "Don't you think people should be warned that they will die much earlier if they are prejudiced?,"

"We are conducting a study of our own," the spokesman said. 'It's quite possible that the people in the government study may have died anyway. We have many elderly people who are prejudiced and they don't seem to be suffering at all."

"Then you don't think the government. should pass any laws against prejudice ?

"Absolutely not. It's up to the individual to decide whether he wants to be prejudiced or not. This is what the civil rights battle is all about. It is one of our American rights that we are not going to have taken away.))

"But the big danger of prejudice, according to the report," we said, "is that it can be inherited from one generation to another. Don't you think this is dangerous?"

"It's one of the prices we have to pay for enjoying prejudice. ..., life, wouldn't be worth living if you didn't hate someone."

It is expected that when the report is released there will be an educational program to make people give up prejudice.

A doctor who has been fighting prejudice for years told us, "Of course, we don't expect people to give up all their prejudices. All we ask is that those who wish to continue to do it in moderation. I don't think there is anything wrong in being prejudiced about the weather or your boss or your in-laws. But heavy prejudice will kill you."

(Note: Although the above article is obviously written as a mock parallel to the current cigarette discussions, there is a lot said that is truer than even the writer believes.)