January 18, 2017
Michael Grant, known locally as Philly Jesus, is claiming that protesters at a march held on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Philadelphia harassed him and violated his First Amendment rights.
In a radio show interview with Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, Grant told show host Dom Giordano that he attempted to join in the march on Monday because he said he "believes in the legacy of Martin Luther King” but was stopped by a human barricade and offensive words.
“I went there and there was a few people that took offense to me, and to my attire, and to my apparel, and they all conspired against me, and they all like made a human wall, a barricade against me, trying to stop me from marching,” Grant told Giordano, adding that his only goal in participating was “to spread positivity and to spread the message of Jesus Christ.”
He went on to say that he didn’t fight back with the protesters but rather he "just kept, repeatedly, calmly, saying, stop touching me. I know my rights. This is freedom of religion, freedom of speech. You’re violating my First Amendment rights.”
Some of the protesters were also calling him names and pointing accusations his way, he said, including claiming that he is homophobic, which he said on the radio show that he is not.
"I don’t hate anybody. All there is is love in my heart. I don’t hate gay people. I love all types of people from any walk of life you're from," Grant said. "Just because I don’t agree with something doesn’t mean I hate you."
In the end, it seems he marched on.
“I tried to remain as calm as possible by the grace of God and I continued to march.”