Speaker challenges St. Louis students to do better: 'The only kids that disrespect me are black kids'

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Motivational Speaker's Speech To Students Takes An Unexpected Turn

Motivational speaker Eric Thomas was giving a speech at a St. Louis school when a moment most speakers dread happened.

Thomas was telling his life story, in which he dropped out of high school and was homeless for a time before he met a preacher and was able to turn his life around. However, as he was speaking, a group of students began talking and ignored his requests to quiet down. That's when Thomas went in on the students about respect and they immediately got quiet.

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Thomas began by saying he usually got paid $50,000 to $100,000 for corporate speeches and that he had decided to speak to the students for free to make a difference in the community.

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Speaker challenges St. Louis students to do better: 'The only kids that disrespect me are black kids'
Success Series live on periscope now!! @ericthomasbtc
New season coming soon... Missed last weeks #TGIM search: etthehiphoppreacher on YouTube now! #Environment
Showtime! Time to change lives! #CSU
Do good and you shall be rewarded... Thanks to W J Scott elementary for letting me speak to your students
Read any GREAT books lately? #ASPWbook.com
Pay it forward!!!
#MSUSuccessSeries tonight live from Erickson Kiva and also on #periscope. Follow @ericthomasbtc show kicks off at 630 PM EST. #MichiganState #ETinspires #OCAT #FREEEVENT
Even tho I'm a Spartan at heart, I still got love for my rivals! Lol S/O to the UM Lacrosse team! Great meeting you guys!
Met this awesome guy in my hotel today. He talked about how much my videos inspire him. It's crazy the impact you can have on people just by operating in your gift. Stop holding your gifts hostage and start changing the world! #TGIM
New year... Same Valentine! Words cannot express how much I love this woman. When I was a homeless high school dropout, she believed in me. When I left my job to pursue my dream of inspiring the world, she believed in me. Happy Valentines Day to my ride or die... #TwentyFiveYearsAndCounting #MyQueen #YoungBoyzTakeNotes #ValentinesDay
Yall know I'm a Die Hard Lions fan... But I'm rooting for the Panthers today. So proud of this kid for doing what he's done not only this year, but since he stepped foot in the league. Also a big S/O to my lil bro Thomas Davis! 3 ACL surgeries and he's still one of the best! TD was responsible for my very first NFL speaking engagement years ago! Going to be a great one! #DabOnEm #Cam #TD @cameron1newton
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"When people love you, you don't do them like dirt. When people care for you, don't disrespect them. You ain't got but a few people who care about you in this world. Didn't you hear what I just said? If you're in the wrong place, you're going to get shot and killed. No one is going to jail for it," he said.

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He continued, "You got the nerve to act the fool when somebody cares about you? You're talking when I'm talking. Do you know that if I go to a Jewish school, those kids are quiet. If I go to a white school, those kids are quiet. If I go to a Latino school, those kids are quiet. The only kids that disrespect me are black kids."

"That's it, my own, are the only ones who disrespect me. I work in any other school and they're taking notes. I come home, you're 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."

More from theGrio: School administrator does #DoItLikeMeChallenge with students in epic viral video

But Thomas' speech didn't leave it there. He continued by telling students that as descendants of slaves, they had instincts for survival and achievement.

"They think you dumb, you ain't dumb. You take take our people from Africa, spread us all over the world and we survive slavery and we can't pass a test- come on!" Thomas said to audience applause.

"We are survivors. That's all we do is survive. I challenge you to...do your best. I challenge you."

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