A world-renowned motivational speaker who charges between $10,000 and $100,000 per appearance recently gave a free talk at a deprived school in St. Louis, Missouri.
When the speaker, Eric Thomas, was standing in front of the pupils at Vashon High School, some of the students tried to speak over him – to which Thomas responded with a tirade of passionate anger.
Thomas, who calls himself the ‘Hip-Hop Preacher’, said ‘I’ll be darned if I come here for free and you disrespect me’.
During the rant he said:
Listen to me very closely. They pay me $50,000 to $100,000 when I speak to corporate America. I go to a basketball program and they pay me good. I ain’t getting a dime here. I’m here because I love you, but I’ll be darned if I come here for free and you disrespect me.
No disrespect, the dude’s you listening to, you listening my man and jamming to his album, he ain’t coming here.
I just heard we had a rapper here last night. How many schools did he go to? How many elementary schools? He came and took your money, but he didn’t invest nothing back into you.
I’m not here to take nothing from you. I’m here to give you something.
Towards the end of the inspirational speech, he added:
The only kids that disrespect me is black kids.
That’s it, my own, are the only ones who disrespect me. I work in any other school and they’re like, ET, we’re taking notes. I come home, you talking. You’re capping jokes. You think something is funny. Look how we’re living. Ain’t nothing funny. Ain’t nothing funny y’all.
The clip also shows numerous shots of St Louis depicting the shocking depravity of such shackled America cities and the first world poverty going on within them.
I wonder how the next U.S. President is going to deal with said issues…
Joseph Loftus is a Gold Standard NCTJ journalist with four years experience working for international and regional press.
As well as working for UNILAD and LADbible, Joseph has worked as Liverpool Correspondent for Unsigned & Independent Magazine, as well as stints with the Liverpool Echo and Warrington Guardian.