The Daily Show has a theory on America's children: they're wimps. Especially when they're working long days picking tobacco. So on last night's episode, Samantha Bee went to investigate what it's like working on a tobacco farm as a teen.
"Summer's here, school's out. Some kids are off to camp, others may be taking a summer job," Jon Stewart said. "And there might be more opportunities out there than you think."
Like working on a tobacco farm for 10 to 12 hour days in 90+ degree weather and risking acute nicotine poisoning, according to a report from Human Rights Watch.
"What would you say to people who say 'This work is too dangerous for a 12 year old'?" Bee asked Kentucky State Sen. Paul Hornback, a tobacco farmer himself.
"Children need to experience things," Hornback said. "We don't need more laws on the books to try to protect everybody from everything there is out there."
And as for the teens who take issue with their long strenuous days with health risks?
"All kids complain about work. We're raising a society that's too soft," Hornback said.
"What I'm hearing from you is that American children are pussies," Bee said.
So Bee went and talked to actual teen tobacco pickers: "How many shady naps did you get to take, to refresh yourself?" she asked.
Oh, zero? Well, at least they get to wear plastic garbage bags to protect them from nicotine poisoning.
"You're making it very hard for me to ironically support child tobacco labor," Bee concluded.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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