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‘I could…buy you:’ Eye-opening reactions when ‘homeless’ man offers cash to strangers

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LOS ANGELES — 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.

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3 comments

  • tootietuttle

    that is all staged but like most things on facebook, it makes people feel good which is all that matters…i guess…

  • BearTex3

    It does not surprise me when I watched this video. But you know that is the way people are in the world today. They look at the guy on the street sitting and want to pretend to feel sorry for them when in the long run they really dont care. Not all but most people are like that. And those who cussed at this guy have an ego that is so big that if it was a deadly sin they would surely go straight to hell. I dont mind helping someone who really is homeless, but I dont help those who stand on the corners, cause they really are a scam. If you dont believe me, pay attention to when those go on the corner and when or how they leave. It is like clockwork. I actually saw a couple over here in Kitsap come off a corner and climb into a Lotus. They caught the Kingston ferry to go across. When they hit the ferry, they went to the bathroom and changed into really nice clothes.