Nicoteens

  • Aired:  06/26/14
  •  | Views: 82,504

Samantha Bee reports on a loophole in American agricultural policy that allows for child labor on tobacco farms. (5:15)

>> Jon: HELLO! WELCOME BACK.

YOU KNOW, SUMMER'S HERE.

SCHOOL'S OUT. SOMEKIDS ARE OFF TO CAMP.

OTHERS MAY BE TAKING A SUMMERJOB.

AND, THERE MIGHT BE MOREOPPORTUNITIES OUT THERE THAN YOU

THINK.

SAM BEE REPORTS.

>> FARMING, IT'S THE BACKBONE OFTHIS COUNTRY, BUT DID YOU KNOW

IT BENEFITS WORKERS OF ALLSIZES.

>> CHILDREN AS YOUNG AS SEVENARE LEGALLY WORKING IN U.S.

TOBACCO FIELDS.

>> YES, ACCORDING TO A LOOPHOLEIN OUR AGRICULTURAL LABOR LAWS,

OUR HARD-WORKING TYKES ARE FREETO PICK AS MUCH TOBACCO AS THEY

WANT.

AND FOR KENTUCKY TOBACCO FARMERAND STATE SENATOR PAUL HORNBACK,

IT'S THE BEST THING FOR 'EM.

>> IT'S LONG DAYS.

IT'S IN THE HEAT.

IT'S OUT THERE IN THE SUN.

SOME DAYS IT MAY BE 100 DEGREES,BUT THAT'S NOT BAD.

THERE ARE LOTS OF PLACES TO GETSHADE, TO COOL OFF, TO REST FOR

A LITTLE WHILE.

>> WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO PEOPLEWHO SAY, "THIS WORK IS TOO

DANGEROUS FOR 12-YEAR-OLDS?"

>> CHILDREN NEED TO EXPERIENCETHINGS.

>> BUT NOT TOBACCOFARMING, ACCORDING TO A NEW

REPORT BY HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH.

AND, THEY'RE PUSHING FOR A LAWTO BAN THE PRACTICE.

>> WE DON'T NEED MORE LAWS ONTHE BOOKS TO TRY TO PROTECT

EVERYBODY FROM EVERYTHING THATTHERE IS OUT THERE.

>> KIDS ARE TOUGHER THAN WE GIVETHEM CREDIT FOR?

>> THAT'S EXACTLY RIGHT.

WHEN I WAS A SEVEN-YEAR-OLD, IWAS WANTING TO WORK.

I WAS WANTING TO DO WHAT THE MENWERE DOING.

>> HE WAS RIGHT.

WORKING ON FAMILY FARM FILLED MEWITH PRIDE.

AND NO ONE KNOWS BETTER THANTHESE THREE TOBACCO-PULLING

SCAMPS WHO HAVE ENJOYED WORKINGON A DIFFERENT TOBACCO FARM IN

NORTH CAROLINA SINCE THEY WERE12.

SO TELL ME ABOUT YOUREXPERIENCES WORKING ON THE

TOBACCO FARMS.

I'LL START YOU OFF.

YOUR GRAND PAPPY WAKES YOU UP.

YOU GET A NICE, NUTRITIOUSBREAKFAST OF FARM FRESH CHICKEN

EGGS.

MAYBE THE FARMER'S WIFE BRINGSYOU A COOL DRINK OF LEMONADE TO

REFRESH YOU.

>> NO.

>> DEFINITELY NOT.

IT'S TOTALLY THE OPPOSITE.

>> IT'S REALLY NOTHING LIKETHAT.

>> NO.

>> WE'RE NOT THE FARMER'SFAMILY.

WE'RE ACTUALLY WORKING FOR THEFARMER, AND THEY DON'T EVEN

BRING US WATER SOMETIMES.

THEY BARELY GIVE US BREAKS.

>> ALL KIDS COMPLAIN ABOUT WORK.

>> KIDS DO COMPLAIN A LOT.

>> WE'RE RAISING A SOCIETYTHAT'S TOO SOFT.

>> WHAT I'M HEARING FROM YOU ISTHAT AMERICAN CHILDREN ARE

PUSSIES. >> THEY'RE SOFT.

>> I APPRECIATE THAT YOU WON'TSAY IT, BUT JUST NOD IF YOU

THINK AMERICA'SCHILDREN ARE PUSSIES.

>> IT'S SOME OF THE HARDEST WORKTHAT YOU COULD EVER DO.

BUT, WE TAKE THE SAFEGUARDS. YOUMAY SEE A TEN-YEAR-OLD OUT

THERE PICKING TOBACCO, BUT YOUWON'T SEE HIM THERE ALL DAY.

>> I WORKED 12 HOURS DAY IN THETOBACCO FARM.

>> OR SOMETIMES A LITTLE BITLONGER.

>> OH, AND IS THAT, IS THATTYPICAL?

>> FROM THE SUN COMES OUT UNTILTHE SUN COMES DOWN.

>> HOW MANY SHADY NAPS DID YOUGET TO TAKE TO REFRESH YOURSELF?

>> I HAVE NOT TAKING ANY NAPSWORKING.

>> YOU'RE OUT THERE ALL DAYIN THE HOT SUN. IT'S LIKE 100

SOMETHING DEGREES OUTSIDE.

>>IT'S LIKE 90 SOMETHING DEGRESSOUTSIDE AND AND WE'RE WORKING.

>> I'M SORRY.

I THOUGHT I WAS TALKING TO SOMETEENAGERS WHO TOOK PRIDE IN

THEIR WORK.

AND THE KILLJOYS AT HUMAN RIGHTSWATCH DON'T WANT AMERICA'S

CHILDREN EXPERIENCING THEPLEASURE OF TOBACCO.

WHICH THEY ARE NOT YET LEGALLYALLOWED TO PURCHASE.

>> A TOBACCO FARM IS NO PLACEFOR CHILD.

>> YOU KNOW WHAT, MY SON IS 16YEARS OLD.

AND HE STILL WEARS VELCROSNEAKERS.

I WISH I COULD SEND HIM TO ATOBACCO FIELD TO LET HIM DO AN

HONEST DAY'S WORK.

>> BUT MANY OF THE CHILDREN WETALKED TO REPORTED SYMPTOM

CONSISTENT WITH ACCUTENICOTINE POISONING FROM

HANDLING TOBACCO PLANTS:NAUSEA, VOMITING, HEADACHES,

DIZZINESS.

>> OH COME ON, HAVEN'T WE ALLFELT DIZZY AND NAUSEOUS

WHILE AT WORK?

>> NO, I DON'T GET SICK AT WORK.

>> MAYBE YOU NEED TO WORK ALITTLE HARDER.

I'M CONSTANTLY THROWING UP AT MYJOB.

>> I USED TO GET SICK AT LEASTLIKE THREE TIMES EVERY SUMMER.

>> LIKE SICK WITH EXCITEMENT?

>> THROW UP.

HEADACHE.

IT SEEMS LIKE THE WORLD WASREVOLVING AROUND MY HEAD.

I FELT LIKE I WAS GOING TO DIE.

>> ACUTE NICOTINE POISONING ISREALLY NOT THAT BIG A PROBLEM.

IT'S NO DIFFERENT FROM HAVING A24-HOUR VIRUS WHERE YOU HAVE A

STOMACH VIRUS.

>> IT'S LIKE ONE COUGH ORFAINTING SPELL OR VOMIT ATTACK

AND EVERYONE STARTS FREAKINGOUT.

>> THAT'S RIGHT.

>> YOU KNOW?

>> AND WE DO THINGS, LIKE WEARTHE PLASTIC GARBAGE BAGS.

WE DO THOSE THINGS TO PROTECTOUR HEALTH.

AND I FURNISH ALL OF THAT.

>> SEE, OUR CHILDREN ARE ALREADYPAMPERED WITH THE HEFTIEST

SAFETY TECHNOLOGY GLADLYPROVIDED WE THE FARMERS.

KIRKLAND?

>> THE FARMER DOES NOT BRING USANYTHING LIKE THAT.

WE HAVE TO PROVIDE OUR OWNSTUFF.

>> YES. WE HAVE TO BUY ITOURSELVES GLOVES, BAGS.

>> OKAY.

WOW.

YOU'RE MAKING IT VERY HARD FORME TO IRONICALLY SUPPORT CHILD

TOBACCO LABOR.

>> WHAT WILL BE NEXT?

CAN THEY NOT WORK OUT IN THEHEAT THEN PICKING PUMPKINS?

CAN THEY NOT WORKING PICKINGGREEN BEANS.

>> FIRST THEY CAME FOR OUR CHILDTOBACCO FARMERS AND I SAID

NOTHING BECAUSE I HAD ACUTENICOTINE POISONING AND WAS

DOUBLED OVER IN PAIN.

BUT, LUCKILY FOR PAUL, TOBACCOWORK CAN STILL LEGALLY TEACH OUR

CHILDREN ONE INVALUABLE LESSON.

>> YOU NEVER APPRECIATE A GOODJOB UNTIL YOU'VE HAD BAD ONE.

>> YOU'RE SO RIGHT.

THOSE CHILDREN ARE GOING TOAPPRECIATE THE [BLEEPED] OUT OF

THEIR NEXT JOB.

>> SAMANTHA BEE.

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

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