A delicate journey

Discussion in 'Prince Hall Freemasonry' started by Pointwithinacircle, Feb 16, 2014.

  1. Pointwithinacircle

    Pointwithinacircle Registered User

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    Even though my father and grandfather were Masons, I delayed my application to the Lodge for decades. The reason was that I had heard Masons express the thought that they would ballot against a man based on his race. From what my father had taught me about Masonry, as well as what I knew about life, this was unacceptable to me. Eventually, historic racial inroads were made into the "mainstream" Lodge in my state and I decided to take my beliefs into the Lodge and work on the problem from the inside. I am proud of the work that was, and is, being done to educate the Brothers and promote equality in the craft.

    The second thought of my post comes from a conversation that I had with a friend when I was in my late 20's. I am caucasian and my friend is black. He said to me once "When I was in high school I couldn't have invited you to my house because my father hates white people". I was shocked. I guess I was naive, but it never occurred to me that prejudice worked both ways. For me the subject of prejudice was always associated with feelings of guilt and shame because I felt associated with prejudice because of the color of my skin. It never occurred to me that people of other races might have a similar struggle.

    Within the last year I have moved to a new state and a new Masonic jurisdiction. While my new Grand Lodge is "in complete fraternal recognition" with Prince Hall, progress on the local Lodge level is somewhat slower. I now understand more about these brothers. My intellect has long been educated, but I still struggle to cast off the feelings of guilt and shame which I feel over the past. It seems that Ignorance, Fear and Superstition are still the enemies of all men.

    Someday I hope to sit in a Prince Hall Lodge and have it's members welcome in mine. Until then I hope to conduct myself in a manner that will not cause future generations to feel shame over my behavior. Perhaps that is the best contribution that I can make. If that is all that I can do, that is still something I can be proud of.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2014
  2. Mr.Gixxer

    Mr.Gixxer Registered User

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    Your post provides hope for those of us. Myself in particular looking to join mainstream masonry in Alabama. One brick removed at a time will eventually bring down the highest of walls. Keep up the good work.

    Sent From My Freemasonry Pro App
     
  3. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    Check. The first open racism I ever encountered was anti-white by folks in the military in A-school. By the time I realized what had happened I had finished and was at my first duty station. If you look up the map of states with and without recognition and start asking around you'll discover that at least 3 have offered recognition to PHA and been rebuffed. Plus the map does not show the whole story - When I looked up the California table I found California had missed sending invitations to 2 states about only about half of the invited PHA jurisdictions had responded (as of a year ago now).

    http://bessel.org/masrec/phamap.htm - Does not mention which 3 have offered recognition, nor how incomplete mutual recognition is among states other than the 2 jurisdictions local to each state.

    You have full recognition so this is simpler than you seem to be thinking. Full recognition means you have visitation. Find at least one local PHA lodge and go there for some visits. Ping them in advance to find out the dress code and timing and what to expect. Then go and share the fellowship. I suggest you take your own apron and if you have gloves take a pair.

    http://www.miphagl.org/ - The web site for the MWPHGLofMI

    Grass roots - Do not wait on anyone else and do not depend on your GL leadership. Be the local solution. So many brothers appear to be stuck waiting on others. Stop waiting and go. On subsequent visits try to arrange a group, because chances there there are members of your own lodge waiting for leadership to take action. Step out in leadership. You have recognition - The word "you" here is singular not just for your entire jurisdiction. You personally. Step out in faith.
     
  4. Pointwithinacircle

    Pointwithinacircle Registered User

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    I noticed in your post that you refer to the very informative site run by Paul Bessel. I too have referred to this site often. Several months ago I emailed a question to Paul and received the rather curious reply that he could not answer my question because he "was no longer active in Masonry". I do not know him well enough to know why this change has occurred. I am posting this as a caution that the information on his site might not be current.
     
  5. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    I have sent him updates and I notice that he no longer includes updates into his site. Sad.

    As to activity, you'll notice that nearly everyone across the history of Masonry complains that a low percentage of brothers attend. Most continue to pay their dues but stop coming. I won't guess why in this case. Rather I give thanks for his contributions.
     

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