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Racism Issue Not Resolved

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As Brother Chris Hodapp has made public, the Grand Lodge of Georgia has reportedly dissolved the charges against a Master of a lodge for raising a black man. This knowledge can put us all at ease and we can sweep this issue under the rug and go on with business as usual, right?

Wrong.

This issue isn’t about the Grand Lodge of Georgia, any lodges in Georgia, or any Masons in Georgia.

It is about racism in Freemasonry. It is about denying a man admission into the fraternity because of the color of his skin or the way he votes in elections or by what name he calls God. That is why this issue is not resolved, because there is still bigotry, racism, and prejudice in Freemasonry.

When I informed my local Brethren about what was going on, they immediately noted that they weren’t certain if a black man could become a Mason in some lodges in South Dakota. Unfortunately, their concern is well founded. The truth is that it is impossible to remove every man with racist or bigoted views from Freemasonry. Some are undoubtedly smart enough to realize that those views are no longer tolerated in today’s world and keep them private. Some may even advocate equality and tolerance in public while secretly clinging to their ideals when they participate in a secret ballot.

But ridding the fraternity of institutionalized racism is not impossible.

I urge every Brother to take personal action to remove every shred of institutionalized racism and bigotry from the fraternity. This may mean striking a few out-dated codes from Grand Lodge constitutions. This may just mean making a clear public statement that a jurisdiction will not tolerate racism or bigotry and considers any acts motivated by such opinions unMasonic behavior.

Masons used to be leaders in society. Now we are behind the times. For those that say, “Its just a few of the old guard guys, this problem will soon pass,” you are wrong. Masons should have been leading the civil rights movement, but forty years after those events we still count racists and bigots among our members and allow them to form the opinions of our fraternity. There is one right side to this issue and there is no argument against it.  The Associated Press has publicized the fact that this problem is present in our fraternity. Let’s stop turning a blind eye to the issue and fix it.

Let us convince the world that Masonry is a great institution. Let us convince the world of its good affects.

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6 Comments

  1. You say that some people said that they doubted a black man could become a Mason in SD; well, from what I’ve read of SD demographics, there aren’t all that many people in SD, so the issue may not come up. On the Prince Hall side their GL of MN has jurisdiction over the Dakotas for that reason.

    More to the point, how would the petition of a Native American be received by a SD lodge?

  2. This is definitely an issue that is overdue to be resolved in the masonic lodges, especially in southern lodges. There are photos online of black mastermasons in Scottish lodges dating back in the 1890’s. So this is apparantly an American issue due to the fact that this country was once a slave nation. Fact is, there was a time when a man was a man and skin color was not a factor in his making. this period would date before the Spanish Inquisition. America is no longer in days of 1500-late 1800s when there were pure race men. This nation is the melting pot of cultures and races from all over the world, and it’s inhabitants should act accordingly with justice and fair judgement in all undertakings with their fellow man/woman, and set the standards of conduct for the rest of the world. It should be embarrasing to the fraternity as a whole in this nation to even have an issue that is based on skin color, due to the fact that freemasonry advocates universality of all of mankind. To act against those principles of the order is nothing less hypocrasy and unmasonic. Overall fraternal relations have advanced for the better during the last 20 years, though still there is a need for much improvement.

  3. I don’t know about the race card but I do know that the institution of Prince Hall initiates 15 YEAR OLD BOYS into Freemasonry. A man must be in his majority which is usually 21 sometimes as low as 18. But 15 YEAR OLD BOYS and younger will cause turmoil in the temple. These kinds of irregularities blatent abuses of the customs and laws of Freemasonry will no doubt become problematic in the Shrine (where alchohol and hands on ritual is present) and in the York where (wine is served). Initiating 15 YEAR OLD BOYS into the MM is both dangerous and foolish.
    Fraternally
    Jim Hiramson

  4. As a MM in Ga. I understand it is not about race or relegious beleifs you must remeber your obligation’s that you freely took and if you had a problem with them then you could have chose not to be a member. As for how someone votes being a reason for not obtaining admission into lodge honestly Ive never heard that come up in a investigation. It would seem that you honestly are way out of touch with facts and should remeber your olbigations as a MM.

    Fraternaly Josh

  5. Mr. Hiramson what ignorant foolishness are you saying and why are you repeating that please get your facts straight. I am a member of the prince hall grand lodge of georgia and our requirment is 21 some states have it set at 18 but that is the lowest. if a man can vote and defending his country i think he should be able to join our fraternity if he is mature enough, but thats up to the investigation committee to determine. we do have a youth group for you men the knights of pythagoras which is a mentor program for young men ages 8-20. but they are not given the secrets of freemasonry in this program. again brother get your facts together before you slander someone because another person may read this and believe you as well.

  6. All of you so worried about “racism” in the Lodges and people finding out about it, well things that go on in Open Lodge should stay in Open Lodge.

    All Grand Jurisdictions should embrace the negro and allow them to petition a Lodge. I’m all for it. That’s what black cubes are for; to keep those out who you do not want.

    Why is it that most of you bleeding heart liberals think that negros should be allowed in our Lodges? Because it’s the PC thing to do? Because white people shouldn’t have organizations that are just for white people? Well as soon as the United Negro College Fund, the Black Caucus, The Black Panthers and other ‘black only’ organizations start allowing white people in as members I’ll vote with a white ball.

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