By the exercise of Brotherly Love we are taught to regard the whole human species as one family – the high and low, rich and poor; who, as created by one Almighty Parent and inhabitants of the same planet are to aid support and protect each other. On this principle Masonry unites men of every country, sect and opinion….
Thus Freemasonry has set itself up with a morality and code of ethics that teaches toleration, respect for the worth of each and every individual and the symbolism of the Level, that we as Freemasons are all on the same level. These are mighty fine attributes for an organization that could if it worked at it bring the peace and harmony of the Lodge room into civil society.
Unfortunately there are a number of Freemasons in the United States who believe that these lofty ideals only apply to White people, and others, including these racists, that believe Freemasonry should only be open to Christians. This is the American corruption of Freemasonry not found in other parts of the world.
For fifteen years I have been speaking out strongly against racism and exclusiveness in American Mainstream Freemasonry. Many of my fellow Brethren have told me that they don’t see any of the problems in Freemasonry that I see. If you are a Northern Freemason and have never traveled outside your jurisdiction than perhaps you are correct.
Others who see the problem tell me to cool my jets. That’s the older generation ways, they tell me. Just be patient, bide your time and all the bigots in Freemasonry will soon die off. They told me that fifteen years ago and I am still waiting, waiting for the day when Blacks and Whites have equal access to this great fraternal institution – not separate but equal which went out of vogue with Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – but a oneness without distinction.
My contention all along is that this problem will not just disappear on its own, it must be forced out of Freemasonry much as the federal government had to send federal troops to Little Rock and force Governor Faubus to open public schools to all races. For that I am labeled as some sort of rebel rouser, stirring up a hornets’ nest instead of just patiently waiting for the problem to disappear of its own accord.
But that won’t happen I said. And it hasn’t. Rednecks raise redneck children, KKK people raise little KKK people and racists and bigots raise racist and bigoted children.
Take a look at this video, a long hard look. Play it twice if needed. Notice the age of the perpetrators. These are not old timers soon to die off with their prejudices. These are some of the people in certain areas of American Freemasonry. Some are among our newest candidates.
Consider the Mainstream Grand Lodges of West Virginia and Arkansas. In West Virginia a junior Past Master is expelled without notice or a trial. One of his most prominent charges is meeting in a neutral zone with Prince Hall Masons to discuss the possibilities of recognition. If you can’t even talk to Prince Hall Masons how do you propose to negotiate with them? The point is you don’t.
In Arkansas the Grand Master declared a generic Masonic license plate produced by Prince Hall to be clandestine. That’s right the license plate was clandestine and the punishment for purchase by any Mainstream Mason was expulsion. The Grand Master had “Masonic officials” stake out the parking lots of stated meetings to find any Mason who had a clandestine plate affixed to his vehicle. Then when Masons across the state started communicating with each other, perhaps to initiate reforms, the Grand Master issued an edict that all Freemasons in the jurisdiction could no longer discuss Freemasonry electronically. The penalty for Masonic E-mail was instant expulsion.
What is retarding Masonic growth is the negative publicity all jurisdictions are experiencing because of the actions of a prejudiced minority. Yet Mainstream Masonry refuses to either police itself or even try to diplomatically whisper words of wisdom into the ears of these all but rogue Grand Lodge officials. West Virginia has pulled recognition of Ohio for allowing PGM Haas to join its ranks. But those Grand Lodges on the Mainstream side who are correctly practicing the virtues of Freemasonry refuse to pull recognition from Grand Lodges like Arkansas and West Virginia who are sullying the name of Freemasonry.
We are now eleven, years into the new millennium. How much longer do we have to wait before Institutionalized prejudice is removed from Mainstream Freemasonry?