What if the homeless gave you money? Entertainer Yousef Saleh Erakat posed as a homeless person to find that out recently on the streets of L.A. and posted a YouTube video of people’s reactions. It’s gotten over 2.8 million views since April 19.
“I’m legit nervous right now,” he says in the beginning of the video. “In today’s society, it’s socially acceptable for the wealthy to give money to the homeless. Is it acceptable because it’s one individual helping another? Or because one individual is better than the other, so it’s OK to help? Today I want to flip the script and see what happens.”
The video then shows Erakat, shoeless and holding a cardboard sign, stop passersby and offer them money.
“I’m trying to be a helping hand today, God bless,” he said to one man, who replied angrily, “I don’t need your [expletive] money, you [expletive.] I could [expletive] buy you.”
He almost got into a physical fight with another man, and had his own money thrown at him at points in the video.
Only two of those he stopped seemed to listen to his message. They included one woman who reached into her pocket and said, “I have a few dollars, why don’t you take them and make me feel rich for the day.”
Watch the video player above for more.