Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Masons to hold rally to protest Masonic racism

Bro. David Cooksey of Birmingham, Ala., who resigned from both his blue lodge and the Scottish Rite after 13 year of Masonic service in protest after emails between lodge and grand lodge officers allegedly emerged attacking his character for having asked questions regarding racism and financial misconduct, has scheduled a protest rally for Wednesday, October 11, 2006, starting at 4:00 pm, outside the Scottish Rite Masonic Center located at 400 Valley Ave. in Birmingham.

A statewide Scottish Rite meeting is scheduled for later that evening. Scottish Rite Grand Commander Seale will attend as the speaker for the Feast of Tishri at 7:00 pm. Grand Master Frank Little will be in attendance as well as other Grand Lodge of Alabama officers.

According to Bro. Cooksey, the focus of the protest is:
  • The Grand Lodge of Alabama's 1876 resolution and refusal to recognize Prince Hall Masons and allow Black men to join
  • The Scottish Rite's Alabama jurisdiction not allowing Black members because of the Grand Lodge refusal to recognize Blacks.
Russ Fine, the Birmingham radio show host fired last week for repeatedly talking about Alabama governor Bro. Bob Riley's affiliation with the "racist" Alabama Masons, plans to attend the rally.

Bro. Cooksey asks for assistance from Masons from other jurisdictions to help make the protest have an effect upon the segregationist practices of the Scottish Rite and Grand Lodge of Alabama. Contact Bro. Cooksey for more information.

Certainly, Masons have disagreed in the past, sometimes vehemently, but I don't know of anytime in modern history when Masons held a protest rally outside a Masonic event.

Critics have repeatedly said that change should "come from within" Masonry, and that those Masons who disagree with the current state of Freemasonry in the U.S. should have tried to maintain "peace and harmony among the brethren" instead of demitting and/or starting new Masonic organizations. At one time, I would have agreed, but in the last year or two I have seen far too much politicking and attempts to silence critics or those with unwelcome opinions within the Fraternity through ostracizing, slander, and outright expulsions and suspensions. Perhaps it is time for a new approach. I hope Bro. David's protest event helps drag the Grand Lodge of Alabama, however kicking and screaming, into the 21st century, by forcing them to finally recognize Prince Hall Masons as true and lawful Masonic brothers, and allow black men to join regular Alabama lodges.

It's time all Masons practice what they preach: The Brotherhood of Mankind.

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I wonder if this event will find its way into Dan Brown's upcoming book The Solomon Key.

2 comments:

  1. Screw that! Let's just start the New Anti-Masonic political party.

    Good times, good times.

    ReplyDelete
  2. When I joined the Freemasons, I made a point to check to see if our state Grand Lodge (Washington State) recognized the Black (Prince Hall) Masons. I would not have joined if it had not been so.

    Our state attempted to recognize Prince Hall Masonry as "regular" as early as 1897 but our Grand Lodge was ostracized by other GLs (especially those in the south), and they capitulated. But the story goes that Past Grand Master William H Upton said not to put a headstone on his grave until our white and black brothers could march side by side, which was finally done on June 8th, 1991 by a contingent of over 400 Masons, including many Prince Hall Brothers.

    Brother Jacob Stewart
    Olympia Lodge #1, F&AM

    ReplyDelete