"To preserve the reputation of the fraternity unsullied must be your constant care..."

Welcome * Blog * Books * Calendar * Chris Hodapp * Alice Von Kannon * Photos * Contact


Friday, July 08, 2016

Brother Killed in Dallas Shootings

Brother Brent Thompson

Last night's tragic shootings in Dallas have resulted in five deaths of police officers. One of them was a Mason. That doesn't make the deaths of any these brave men any more or less terrible just because one of them was our Brother. But it is the flip side of what happened in Minneapolis on Wednesday, and our Masonic connections perhaps help to personalize and focus on both events with maybe a little more immediacy for all of us. Masons on both sides of this racially charged situation have now been touched by it.  

From a message circulated by New York's Empire State DeMolay today:

The world has heard and seen the unrest in Dallas, Texas and the loss of life of Police Officers.
NY DeMolay stands with our DeMolay Brothers of Texas in prayer.
Especially Brother William Thompson, a member of Black Gold DeMolay Chapter in Corsicana, Texas.
His Dad, Officer Brent Thompson lost his life in the line of duty during the incident in Dallas last night.
Officer Thompson was a Master Mason and member of Corsicana Lodge No. 174 in Corsicana, Texas.
Officer Thompson has 6 children, the youngest is 17. 
Officer Thompson was married 2 weeks ago.

He was 43 years old, and had spent nearly seven years on the Dallas Area Rapid Transit police force. 

Meanwhile, the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Minnesota on its Facebook page this morning requested that their members change their profile pictures to a common image to show support of their member, Brother Clarence Castile, over the death of his nephew in a traffic stop Wednesday night. The action is claimed to be called for by their Grand Master Kymphus Muhammad. Adrian L. Green, Grand Master of the MWPHGL of Michigan has requested it on the GL's official Facebook page. It has reportedly been asked similarly in New Jersey by the MWPHGL of NJ's Grand Master,  Shelton J. Prescott - but I have not found that online anywhere myself. His personal page simply has the image posted, but with no call to action accompanying it.

While this type of thing has been done for numerous other events and causes such as terrorist attacks in France and Belgium by showing their flags in Facebook profiles, in this case these Grand Masters have asked their members to use a stark black and white image of a man's silhouette in the crosshairs of what is presumably a rifle sight. It is intended to call attention to the many shootings of black men by police officers across the country, but it couldn't have been more ill timed. The five law enforcement officers killed last night in Dallas were shot by snipers using rifles that probably were fitted with scopes that yielded a similar image while they aimed. 

These Grand Masters couldn't have picked a more inappropriate and incendiary image to suggest to their own members out of their hats.

Yes, I am fully aware that the image is well known to most people under 30. It is the official logo of the hip hop group Public Enemy. I'm sure these Grand Masters' hearts are in the right place and see it as a way to focus attention on an issue that has plagued their members and communities for too long a time. I get that.

But social media is a funny thing, and it can turn on anyone in an instant. That image is going to be seen all over the country and the world connected to Freemasons, and it sends a blatant message that I am fully aware is not intended. It's going to be misconstrued. There's no way it WON'T be. So, does anyone SERIOUSLY want to see endlessly forwarded messages on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and others proclaiming "Prince Hall Masons (or just plain ALL Freemasons) are calling for cop killings!"?  Because I promise, that's what's going to happen, and that's the way this will be twisted.

We live in chaotic times, and I totally understand the desire to highlight the issue. But there's a reason why regular, recognized Freemasonry in particular puts such an emphasis on staying out of politics, along with religion. It's divisive and it tears people and societies and cultures apart. In our capacity as Masons, our image matters as much to each other as to the world at large. One of the first things we hear as Apprentices is the admonishment to subdue our passions. That's every day and everywhere. And circulating this image Masonically is not a demonstration of that. I urge you all to reconsider it.

Rest in peace, Brother Thompson. Your column is broken and your Brethren mourn.




UPDATE 7/9:

A GoFundMe account has been set up by the DART police department to support Brother Thompson's new wife and family. If you wish to donate, CLICK HERE.

70 comments:

  1. RIP Brothers. Thank you for your Brave service. God Bless!

    Bro. Ronald Boucher MSL#13

    ReplyDelete
  2. Rest In Peace Brother and God Bless Our Freemasonry.:

    ReplyDelete
  3. Rest in peace, my Brother.
    Wor. Peter J.B. Teague

    ReplyDelete
  4. Rest in peace, my Brother.
    Wor. Peter J.B. Teague

    ReplyDelete
  5. RIP my Brother.....thank you for your selfless service

    ReplyDelete
  6. RIP my Brother...thank you for your selfless service

    ReplyDelete
  7. Rest in Peace, my Brother.
    Wor. Peter J.B. Teague

    ReplyDelete
  8. God Bless & take care of you Brother, We will look after your family the same way you looked after us, Thank You. R.I.P.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Rest in peace brother Thompson

    ReplyDelete
  10. Rest in Peace Brother. Gone but not forgotten.

    Villa Park Lodge No.1113

    ReplyDelete
  11. May the Grand Architect welcome you Brother with open Arms, the Officers and Members of Portland Lodge No. 311, Free and Accepted Masons of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania and the jurisdiction thereunto belonging offer prayers for you our departed Brother, for your family, for all those lost, and for peace S.M.I.B
    Brother Sean C. Dertinger, Past Master

    ReplyDelete
  12. Beth and I will try and find an address to send our condolances. Does anyone know if a collection has been started for our Brother and the other officers?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Rest peacefully brother! I will be praying for your family! Thank you for your service and years of dedication!

    Brother/Firefighter/EMT
    Anthony J Buchanan

    Lodge #52

    ReplyDelete
  14. I think that's a great point concerning that logo. I am very familiar with the logo, and understand the intent, but in light of the events in Dallas - I don't think it should be used. Its use will most certainly be misunderstood.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Rest in peace brother.. Condolences to the bereaved family.

    Roldan Luna
    Mabuhay Lodge#59

    ReplyDelete
  16. RIP my brothers .. prayers coming from the Pacific Far East!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Rest in peace brother. Condolences to the bereaved family.

    Bro Roldan Luna Mabuhay Lodge#59

    ReplyDelete
  18. May the GAOTU welcome you to the Grand Lodge Above and may he grant peace to your loved ones.
    Fraternally,
    Bro. Gabriel Finn JW
    Glenbow Lodge #184 GRA AF & AM
    Calgary, Canada

    ReplyDelete
  19. I work for DART and had met Brother Thompson. It was a sad day for Dallas.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Rest in peace, brother

    Myrtle Lodge. No 145

    ReplyDelete
  21. RIP Brother.

    Dale Lenting
    Red Deer Alberta lodge #12

    ReplyDelete

  22. R.I.P MY BROTHER FROM KING DAVID LODGE#50,OKLAHOMA CITY OKLAHOMA FROM JOHN DARBY

    ReplyDelete
  23. You know our fraternity is bathed in allagorory. Our fraternity is bathed in symbolism. Just as we know we know we do not call God by an isolated name but by Deity. We have to respect our brothers from different parts of the country as they respect their fallen in the manner as they chose. Saying a Worshipful Master had chosen unwisely for his lodge is a long step when you are not a member of that lodge nor feel the pain of loss that lodge feels.. I only advise to look past the obvious implied symbolism and explore the true nature of brotherhood that shoul exist between all brothers that have taken the oath and that we call brother. Black or white.. yellow or brown, for that matter green or yellow with polka dots should not refrain us from brotherly love nor compassion. Has the world showed us horrible injustice in the past few days? I would answer yes. A life lost is not a little thing despite who the victim is. Making one life better than another despite circumstance is not what Hiram Abiff would occluded even though his life was taken from him. So let us judge not the actions of another but judge only what us in our own hearts ad to what is right,on th square and to the level. Signed G Metz 32 Degree,3 Degree Blue Lodge.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Bask in the eternal light.
    Robert Vaughn
    PM Henrico Union #130 AFAM.

    ReplyDelete
  25. RIP Brother.
    Dan Voils. Brownsburg Lodge #241, Indiana

    ReplyDelete
  26. Rest in Peace Brother. Climb that spiral staircase.
    Elliott Jones
    WM Lodge #630 Luverne, AL.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Prayers for your family. Rest easy Brother, we will take it from here.
    Torrent Lodge # 711, Kentucky.
    Alonzo Banks, Jr.

    ReplyDelete
  28. RIP Brother. Climb that spiral staircase.

    ReplyDelete
  29. just as twisted as everyone else..get real

    ReplyDelete
  30. John 15:13

    13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

    R.I.P my brother

    Bro. Michael Patanè
    Lewis Lodge of Brighton #187
    Adelaide South Australia

    ReplyDelete
  31. May peace be unto your family in the loss of your spirit my brother. As we lay your vessel to rest we shall reflect on your patriotism and ever giving protection for us all.

    ReplyDelete
  32. May the Grand Architect of the Universe look down on this broken society with mercy and grant these families to repair and not despair. May he grace us with the power to overcome these troubled times.
    Amen.

    ReplyDelete
  33. R.I.P. Bro. Thomson. Meet you in the temple some day. Prayers to your family for strength and support.

    V.W.Bro. Stewart Alexander
    Secretary
    Battlefield Lodge No. 714 G.R.C.
    Stoney Creek, ON. Canada.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Thoughts and prayers from brothers in Chattanooga, Tn
    If anyone has info about a collection or means of paying condolences please forward to me @ UNITEDCLEANINGSERVICES1501@GMAIL.COM
    BROTHER DON STEPHENS of East LAKE LODGE #698 FORMERLY HIGHLAND PARK #734.

    ReplyDelete
  35. my deepest condolences my fellow brother in law enforcement. so mote it be

    ReplyDelete
  36. Deepest sympathies to the your family and brothers.
    May good memories comfort them during this difficult time.


    Brian Galica
    Secretary
    Daylight Lodge No.1443
    Lubbock,Texas

    ReplyDelete
  37. RIP Brother. W.Bro Ade Berry. Lakeside Lodge 9869, UGLE District Of Cyprus, Mediterannean.

    ReplyDelete
  38. RIP from Brother Francois ,Lodge 37 Friendship ,Fuengirola ,Spain,Europe

    ReplyDelete
  39. RIP Brother. The thin blue lime just got that little bit thinner. Thank you for your service. Temple lodge 6673 bristol UK

    ReplyDelete
  40. Rip you brave brotheron the kevel from your brother in israel smib

    ReplyDelete
  41. Condolences first & foremost to all the affected families.It is a mad world we live in where the rule of law,the sanctity of life & the fear of God is sadly absent.RIP Bro Thomson,Scotland.

    ReplyDelete
  42. RIP MY BROTHERON a true hero /G\ temple lodge #173 nj

    ReplyDelete
  43. Rest in peace not only a Masonic Brother, but also a retired Blue Brother. You done good beother thanks for your service

    ReplyDelete
  44. Once you were asked what you desired most, your answer was further masonic lite. Today you pass into the east as the traveler and truly receive further masonic lite. Rest well brother.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Perhaps we as Mason's should be looking to start a different message in the face of these tragedies ~ ALL LIVES MATTER ~ and we as Masons should know that better than most.

    Rest in Peace brother; your labours are at an end, and your sacrifice will not be forgotten.

    Bro. R. Young Ontario Canada

    ReplyDelete
  46. RIP Brother. God bless your family in this difficult time

    Wor. S.T Palma
    Mount Vernon Galilean Lodge
    Malden Ma

    ReplyDelete
  47. RIP Bro.Thomson, Condolences to the family, our hearts are with you.

    VWB Earl Jones
    Adoniram Lodge 573
    AF&AM
    Niagara Falls ON.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Dear Honorable Brethren

    I heard of Bro. Brent Thomson’s tragic death, who I learned is a MM of Corsicana Lodge No. 174.

    Please be so kind and express my sympathy for him and his family.

    I wish them STRENGTH to cope with the sadness about the loss, I wish them WISDOM to see not all is lost as the good deeds of the lost ones live on, and the ability to continue to discover the BEAUTY all around us.

    Be assured Brethren around the world will not cease to work towards true equality. I believe this is what we owe each other.

    May justice be served.

    Fraternal Greetings from Germany,
    Christopher

    MM of the Blue Lodge “Loge zur Einigkeit” Nr. 11 (founded in 1742) in Frankfurt am Main, Germany

    ReplyDelete
  49. RIP Bro. Thomson, our prayers go out for your family.
    Bro. Woodard
    Spring of 604
    Newnan Ga

    ReplyDelete
  50. Rip.brother.
    Hope G give you Good time

    Brother Bent Noer. Denmark.

    ReplyDelete
  51. We never met Brother Thompson but knowing we're Brothers, is all I need to know. You have been a true and faithful servant so RIP Brother Thompson, your rewards await.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Rest in Peace Brother in that Great Celestial Lodge above. Brother Kenn Evans, II AZ F&AM #8 & #13

    ReplyDelete
  53. Rest in peace. Brother. From lodge st George 333.Glasgow uk...bro john odonnell

    ReplyDelete
  54. R.I.P BROTHER..FROM LODGE ST GEORGE.GLASGOW 333.UK...BRO JOHN ODONNELL

    ReplyDelete
  55. In Hoc Signo Vinces Bro Thompson.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Rest in peace brother, you are in the presence of the great architect of the universe. You are gone but never forgotten. EOW 7-7-2016


    Brother Don Spiering
    Retired correctional sergeant
    Crescent lodge F&AM California

    ReplyDelete
  57. Rest in peace. Br.'. Toon de Laaf logde Quintessens no306 .'s-Hertogenbosch NL

    ReplyDelete

ATTENTION!
Kindly sign your comment posts. Anonymous postings on Masonic topics have the same status as cowans and eavesdroppers, as far as I am concerned, and may be deleted if I don't recognize you or if I'm in a grumpy mood.