Bro. Jones very well said and thanks for the informative post.
Why is it that a majority of African Americans prefer Prince Hall? Is it because you felt unwelcome in a "mainstream" aka a non-PHA Lodge? Were you serving overseas during that time and had no other option? Did PHA seem more in touch with you and your community?
I've heard of a FEW cases where racism has reared is ugly head on both sides. PHA doesn't need the "white man" in it's ranks and a small minority of "mainstream" members would refuse to sit in Lodge with a "ni**er". Sorry for the language, but let's call out bigotry and racism.
IMO, we could be like the general public and sweep things under the rug and pretend they don't exist, but I'll put my dues card on the line to call things out. Trust me, I'll be the first person to admit they're far from perfect. I'm not commenting to demean a Brother, no matter what his thoughts are, but to address certain issues we all have in the back of our minds.
FYI, I'm what you consider "mainstream" and/or "non-pha", that being said, the relationship between our respective Masonic bodies facinaties me.
i don't think in most cases its a matter of racism, its a matter of comfortability. the demographics is different, and one tends to go where they are mostly drawn too. i live in Houston and my lodge is in Houston and the demographic here is mostly black, so when choosing a lodge, comfortability is important. having amity and recognition with mainstream lodges is beautiful and knowing we can visit their lodges and vice versa is beautiful but joining is a matter of being comfortable. I'm not saying this is the case for everyone, but this is the more than likely reason. but we need to break this barrier.It is strange to see this thread. I just got back from the McAlester Valley Scottish Rite Reunion this weekend and me and a few others were talking about the same thing. We have in our Valley almost all white members. There are a few from other ethnic backgrounds but none are African-Americans. Well, there is one that is African-American but he is white. In my town we have a "Brother" that is a PHA Mason, but he will do whatever he can to keep some of the potential petitioners that are African-American away from our Lodge. The problem is that the closest PHA Lodge is over 30 miles away and for some that just wouldn't be the ideal situation. If some of these were to petition our Lodge they would be welcomed but there would be problems from him. It is a sad situation to say the least. I think that a lot of the problems we see in this debate come from both sides. While we here in Oklahoma do have visitation and such with PHA and are no longer fighting that fight there are other smaller battles to be fought still. I think racism plays a big part. Whether it is admitted to or not it comes from both sides.