“African-Americans continue to suffer from the consequences of slavery and Jim Crow laws – long after both systems were formally abolished – through enormous damage and loss, both tangible and intangible, including the loss of human dignity and liberty.”
Senate Resolution Apologizing For slavery passed 6/18/09
Pretty near 50 years ago Martin Luther King marched in protest of the practices of segregation and racial discrimination. Forty-five years ago the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was enacted. These events all occurred when I was just a teenager. Today I am a senior citizen and Mainstream Freemasonry has still not rid itself of racial discrimination. Oh its been tried. William H. Upton, Grand Master of Washington State recognized Prince Hall in 1898 but it didn’t stick. In 1948 the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts tried again with the same result.
I have been writing about this problem in Mainstream Freemasonry for ten years. For ten years I have been pleading, begging Mainstream Freemasonry to get together to do something about living up to its ideals. And many Grand Lodges have recognized Prince Hall and have taken steps to insure racial equality, but the ones who do not, give the entire fraternity a black eye.
So much time has passed since some areas of the country have long since practiced any kind of massive racial discrimination that many Freemasons in these areas don’t believe the stories I have written about blackballing blacks and barring their admission at the Lodge room door. Canadian along with many Northern Freemasons just can’t fathom that these practices are still going on. Some tell me I am passing on unsubstantiated stories which are just too horrible not to be far fetched imaginations of a revenge bent Brother. For ten years some entirely sympathetic Freemasons have demanded of me proof in black and white.
For ten years I have written commentary warning of what devastation would ensue the Craft if an enterprising reporter ever got hold of provable Masonic racial discrimination. For ten years I have warned what havoc would result from a front-page Time or Newsweek story of Masonic racism. For ten years I have written how important it is for Freemasonry to police itself. For ten years naysayers have said where’s your proof?
Well Judgment day has arrived. A smoking gun has been discovered in the hands of the Grand Lodge of Georgia ironically at the same time the US Senate has passed a resolution apologizing for slavery. We now have irrefutable proof in the Grand Lodge of Georgia’s own words that it has always been and still is illegal and Unmasonic for a Black man to gain its membership. And because this Georgia Masonic law was violated and a Black man was actually raised to Master Mason, the Georgia Worshipful Master who did so is being brought up on charges for a trial and expulsion.
The fox has come out of his den and been ensnared by its own cleverness or some would say stupidity. The unprovable but always known and whispered about is now boldly set before us in black and white. There is no way to refute or spin what has been done. This offers no rational explanation that can remove the wretchedness of this dirty deed nor can there be any claim to quoting out of context. The full set of documents is posted elsewhere on Freemason Information.
In addition to what has been presented here an anonymous Georgia source who will remain nameless for legal reasons tells me of some additional behind the scenes information.
First the charges were initiated by two Grand Lodge officers who recruited a Worshipful Master to actually file the charges. It seems that when one Worshipful Master in Georgia files charges against another Worshipful Master the trial can be taken out of the local Lodge for its decision and be put in the hands of the Grand Master and his special tribunal. Thus this makes this whole matter a very calculated affair.
Second of all it seems that in Georgia when a candidate takes his obligation to not be at the making of a Mason of ……………………………..Georgia adds into the mix the word slave. Now, according to my source, many Georgia Lodges have changed that word slave to the word Nigger. Whatever the custom may be when the charges refer to a violation of a moral obligation this is what is being referred to.
In addition I am told that a mother with her young daughter wishing to see what Rainbow was all about attended a public open Rainbow Installation in Georgia. The mother and daughter were Black. The Installation stopped and everyone sat still and mute until the Black mother and daughter left.
The explanation for this racism in Mainstream Freemasonry is quite simple. When the KKK went underground for the last time and in just a matter of years disappeared from public view many of them went right into Freemasonry. Here abusing the power of the secret ballot they could black ball any “undesirables” and whiteball any Klansmen to gradually take over the composition of a Lodge legally following the rules and regulations of Freemasonry, a private society which would enhance their power and prestige in the community while at the same time enabling them to structure their environment to the white, Protestant, English speaking, politically conservative (no Liberals allowed) membership.
By allowing the diffusion of power into 50 individual Masonic fiefdoms and never correcting the abuses of the secret ballot, Mainstream Freemasonry permitted itself to be corrupted and abused. Freemasonry in California, Minnesota and Pennsylvania is so different from Freemasonry in West Virginia, Georgia and Florida that you are in realty talking about two different fraternities. And you let it happen, you and I, because we refused to address any concerns of another jurisdiction following an age old non meddling tradition.
I am informed that a pretty big Associated Press story of this whole sordid affair will soon be splashed across the face of every local newspaper in this land. You didn’t learn from West Virginia. You didn’t take any steps to police yourselves. Now you will pay the price.
It was just a few days ago I wrote “Don’t Be A Taliban Freemason.” In it I said that the young people of today will not join a racist organization among other things. If you think Mainstream Freemasonry is in a membership drought for whatever reason, just wait. It’s going to get worse. How worse? Well it depends on who wants to do something about this mess. Is Mainstream Freemasonry going to go in and clean up and correct rogue Grand Lodges? Do other Mainstream Grand Lodges have the guts to pull recognition from American Grand Lodges who do not conform to basic Masonic principles? I won’t hold my breath. I got out three years ago and became a Prince Hall Mason where I am fully accepted and loved no matter how ugly I am.
What I will do is call upon some Mainstream Grand Lodges to pull recognition from Georgia immediately. If enough individual Mainstream Brethren actually stood up and fought for Justice (one of the Four Cardinal Virtues) Grand Lodges might listen. But I think they will do what they have been doing for years now. They will just up and walk out. And Mainstream Freemasonry you have nobody to blame but yourselves.
“Truth is a divine attribute, and the foundation of every virtue. To be good and true is the first lesson we are taught in Masonry. On this theme we contemplate, and by its dictates endeavor to regulate our conduct. Hence, while influenced by this principle, hypocrisy and deceit are unknown among us; sincerity and plain dealing distinguish us, and the heart and tongue join in promoting each other’s welfare and rejoicing in each other’s prosperity.”