Monday, July 27, 2009

Burning Taper gets racist Masonic hate mail

It's been way too long since The Burning Taper has received hate mail.

Finally, over the weekend, we got one, and it's from an old hater-mongering Mason from way back.... Bro. Robert Williams of Monroe, Louisiana.

We first heard from this Bubba-brother in May of 2006, when he emailed us in response to an article about Bro. Alex Harris's 1999 speech to the Alabama Grand Lodge about racism.

Back in '06, Bro. Williams announced IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS, "That doesn't make us racists, we just like our lodges the way they are." (See his entire 2006 email here.)

I can only imagine how our "not a racist" Bro. Williams is feeling these days, with a black man in the White House, a black man the head of the Republican Party, and a black man having become a member of an Atlanta "mainstream" lodge.

Today, Bubba Williams sent us this (grammar and spelling are his):
You would bring a gorilla in the lodge if they would let me. To me, you should have joined a Prince Hall Lodge from the start and be just as clasdestined as the rest of them. Now I see you have some foolish/nosense website called the Burning Taper, what a Farce. Blacks don't need to be in any lodge, I have seen apes in zoos.
It's not clear which recent article on The Taper, if any, prompted our racist Louisiana brother to honor us with another email.

Feel free to write Bro. Williams. I'm sure he'd like to hear from you. His email address is

And we'd like to hear from you, our racist Masonic brethren.

How do you feel about a black man being raised a Mason at Gate City Lodge No. 2 in Atlanta?

How do you feel about the Grand Master of Kentucky having issued an edict in June ordering
[t]hat no negative reference is to be made by any officer or member of any lodge chartered under the constitution of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, F.&A.M. in reference to a petitioner’s faith, creed or race at any time in the conferral of the Degrees — i.e. lectures, obligation, by proficiency lecturers, etc. — or during any lodge Communication.
Is the South gonna rise a'gin, or is it going to join the 21st century?

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  1. Better yet, how does he feel about a New Orleans lodge voting in a black brother from up Nawth as a dual member last week?

    Ruh-roh, Shaggy! This integration thing is just a poppin' up everwhar!

  2. Great Article!
    sad thing is, you just can not wipe out racism and mankind is not able to learn lessons from the past. 100 Years ago the majority of german lodges didn't allow the initiation of jews, following the conservative Mainstream of that period. Thereby cleaning the path for evil things to come.

    the only option is, to fight racism where ever it raises its head.
    Well done Bro.

  3. those WHO HAVE GONE THIS WAY BEFORE US deserve better, as do those who will sincerely come seeking Light after we are dust.

  4. There are still pockets of problems up here in Indiana, but I'm proud to say that I know several black brethren and was privileged to travel to a rather racist area to help enter a black brother. And have already promised to rally the troops should we need to travel to help get him through the following degrees. One step at a step at a time.

  5. About 20 years ago an African American candidate was rejected in my Lodge. The "no" voter announced "those people have been after our secrets for years". He was encouraged by members of the local Shrine Club from other Lodges. I left the shrine.

  6. "...will not speak ill of his good name, nor permit it to be done by others...."

    I by no means condone his attitude or beliefs. And I in no way expect to control them, or him, or you, or anyone. I have enough trouble keeping ME in line.

    In time, we can only hope the principles and lessonw sill open his eyes, and ours, mine, yours, and the whole world. Until that time, are you confident that you are displaying the principles you wish he would live by? Is publishing his information the best service to him? Is embarrassing him publicly in the best interest of the fraternity? He is capable of his own embarrassment, if he wishes. If he has no qualms about such attitudes, you're certainly not going to influence him either.

    No, it's not right for a man to devalue another man for any reason that hasn't been earned. Race, or attitude, included.

  7. Is this guy in Lousiana even white? Just wondering because it'd be interesting if he were actually descended from blacks. Alot of the people there who do identify as white are mixed like the President. The President is not white or black, but he does identify with the African American ethnic community which has people are are both black and mixed and white. For example there are many people like Walter White who was only 1/8 black who identify as African American and are blonde haired and blue eyed, so was his mom. The first African American senator Blanche Bruce was 50% black and his wife was mixed as well. Check out people like Robert Reed Church, Charles W. Chesnutt, and John Hope. Basically there are families around that identify as white which are descended from both blacks and whites. In the end we all have 2 arms and 2 legs and people who want to divide divisivly I have to ask what's next, all the people over 6 feet will be prejudiced against all those under 6 feet?

  8. Great post!! maybe the stubborn Brothers should read MLK "Letter from Birmingham jail...It just might help to change their mind with a bit more education and mental growth.

    Good job Bro.

  9. It's a long, slow, battle but, things are changing.

    Eventually the old will die out and the new will gain strength.

    It's truly bizarre that in an organization which is built on the fundamental principles that all men are on the level some would still harbor such racist views.

    As I've said before, and will probably say again, there's a reason I don't live in the South.

    I'm proud to be a Mason in the State of Missouri where, in general, African Americans are welcome in most lodges. I'm especially proud that my very own DeMolay chapter has almost a majority of African American youth in just this past year.

    I wouldn't be a Freemason in a racist state, but I'm proud to be a Freemason in the state of Missouri.


  10. John:

    Don't bash the South. I moved to Massachusetts from North Carolina, and Massachusetts is significantly more racist than North Carolina, in my observation. Back in Carolina, I was traveling, and I visited a park on the 4th of July. There were three white families and two black families picnicking, and I was a stranger. All five families came over to me and offered me food and drink, and I ended up swimming in the creek with the kids, and nobody treated me with suspicion, even after the kids took turns having me throw them in the water. Black and white kids playing together. I don't see that in Massachusetts.

    Missouri is a former Confederate state. I don't know why Missourians have a harder time dealing with their choice to join the Confederacy than other former Confederate states do.

    If by "racist state" you merely mean that the non-Prince Hall Grand Lodge and the Prince Hall Grand Lodge are not in amity, or like in West Virginia that black men are not welcome in lodge, then I totally agree with you. I would have a serious moral conflict between receiving the hospitality of my brothers and objecting to racial exclusion, were I invited to sit in a lodge in a state that excludes black men, having Brotherly Love and Truth duking it out in my conscience. I'd have to give my brothers a rain-check until their racial views were more masonic.

  11. very sad to see this level of hate in the fraternity, I guess he does not truly understand the obligations he has taken in the three degrees. Glad to report that in Atlantic Canada, this is not an issue

  12. Agreed Todd. Disharmony aimed from each side too. Too many people only see "the other guy is wrong"

  13. I'm just bummed that I don't get any hate mail...

  14. I wonder how this Brother would react to a joint Master Mason Degree conducted by my Mother Lodge, St. John's Lodge #2 and the PHA Lodge who shares the building with us, G.W. Crawford Lodge #21.

    It was the first Prince Hall Degree I had witnessed and I have to say it made quite a favorable impression. It gave me a perspective on my Masonry that I had not had before.

    Because we enjoyed ourselves so thoroughly, my Lodge is planning a visit to our brethren en masse later this year.

    One of our Brothers, who is a generation older than I, and hails from Kentucky originally, attended the Degree and enjoyed it thoroughly by all accounts. (Proving that attitudes are not confined by age or geography.)

    I can only hope that attitudes will continue to change for the better and work to bring that change about through my own conduct.

    Don Tansey
    (The poster formerly known as Traveling Man.)

  15. No human is capable of being a freemason. Only apes of whatever colour are stupid enough.


  16. Hello Bretheren, To The Burning Temper and other well spoken brothers on this site, I am the "black brother" voted into Germania Lodge #46 last month. I am from New Orleans, but lived, and was masonically raised in Chicago. I returned home and thought I did not have a chance to continue my masonic travels as I started but I am very proud of my city and my state for breaking a long standing and outdated tradition. I am the first black to enter as a member of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana since 1831. I am very glad, but also very aware of what will face me ahead. To Brother Williams in Monroe, thank you for the welcome. P.S. I am a physician, not an ape. Take care.

  17. Welcome to the Fraternity, Bro. Azikiwe.

    — W.S.

  18. In all honesty, if any "Mason" looks at anything external about a man, then he already has forgotten his work. Whatever the colour, race, creed, religion, etc., does he meet the requirements to become a Mason in accordance with Grand Lodge Law. If so, then he should be a Mason, accepted by all other Masons.

  19. Well, I'm glad that this issue is being raised and is starting to be addressed. I'm white, 35, and originally from KY. I was raised to MM in Kansas City MO. I have had a problem with the Masonic division between races since the beginning, and asked several of the brothers in my home lodge there about it. I got answers as varied as the people I asked. One, who held a very high rank as Masonic Educator, said, "Well, they just like to be around their own kind". Other brothers, young and old, expressed feelings like mine and hoped to work for reform. When I moved to Indianapolis I visited about 6 lodges. The IN GL officially communicates with the PH GL now & have done joint degree work. However, I visited the Millersville lodge and was very frustrated to find several of the brothers there making 'racist' jokes in the dinner, before the lodge meeting, and one comment was made in a tiled lodge. I never went back.

    I DO think this is changing, but people are going to be people, whether they are Masons or not. Being a Mason does not keep them from holding racist views, even though the lessons of our fraternity should have taught them otherwise. I regret this continues to be an issue, but with so many old white guys running the show, it is bound to continue to be something that we have to overcome. In my mind, the old guard is passing on, as evidenced by the almost constantly covered charter honoring the passing of our brothers in most lodges (in my home lodge we covered the charter with a black scarf when we had a death). The younger brethern are changing these old patterns of thinking. I have hope that we can change this and meet on the level as brothers, despite the color of our skin or the lodge we were raised in.

    Lux e tenebris

  20. I was born and "raised" in California, my Grandfather was a Freemason before me. As I read the comments posted, I feel there is hope for Lodge.

  21. These are all informative posts, however I do disagree with some comments, such as "people are going to people whether Masons or not".

    Racists should know that they are not welcome in Freemasonry and will never be accepted as members.

    That was a failing of the particular Grand Lodge. Not practicing Freemasonry is never an excuse for admitting bigots.

    The Klan somehow managed to keep out Blacks and Whites that believed in equal rights.

    I doubt the Nazi's ever let Jews or Communists join the Party by mistake.

    When racists are members of any Grand Lodge it shows that said Grand Lodge is not practicing Freemasonry.

    They should know that they are not welcome and should be expelled if discovered.

  22. It goes to show that racisim is still alive and well. If he would have study the history of both mainstream and prince hall masonry, he would find out that prince hall mainstream is not clandestine and that are legit on how they were established. It this mentality that he portray in mainstream and then they file for nonprofit status. The government shouldn't allow organization with this type of mentality to maintain there non-profit status.


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