Imagine you’re in a strange, rough country. You see a boy being beaten unmercifully in the street by an older boy who is shouting, “Thief! Cheat! Liar!”
Thank goodness, you see 3 cops come to break it up. But the cops take the older boy’s word, and start hitting the child too, yelling, “You thief! You cheat! You liar! Where are your parents?”
You see the boy point across the street: “My foster parents are in that cafe,” he sobs.
The foster parents saunter over, and finally, you pray, surely they’ll defend the boy. But instead they apologize for his behavior, telling the cops he’s just no good, he’s been raised all wrong. Then the foster parents roughly take the boy away, cuffing him and yelling, “I told you not to wander!”
Imagine the 9-year-old tobacco case is that foster child, lost in the strife of the tobacco wars. Imagine the heartbreak felt by his true parents, Judge Kessler and Sharon Eubanks, who raised him with such care and attention, who dedicated such a major portion of their lives to him, as they see this horror happening to their baby. And now they must stand aside, powerless to properly defend him–as, apparently, only they can.
And you wonder: this poor thing may not make it to adulthood.