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Saturday, September 23, 2006

North Carolina Grand Lodge votes against recognizing Prince Hall Masons

The Burning Taper blog is reporting that the Grand Lodge of North Carolina has once again voted against recognizing their Prince Hall brethren. I understand from another source that the vote was very close for the last two years, but not close enough to pass.

Until just a few short years ago, North Carolina only required a simple majority vote to change legislation. When the vote got closer to passing the recognition of Prince Hall resolution, the assembled voting members passed a new rule that now requires a 2/3 majority to recognize another Grand Lodge in its jurisdiction. An attempt this year to return to the old simple majority vote failed as well, as did a resolution to end voting rights of Past Grand Masters.

Larry Thompson is reporting on the Philalethes List the following vote count:

1085 votes cast
681 pro recognition
404 against recognition

Passage failed by 43 votes.

There are many men who have worked very hard from within to change this situation, and they deserve our thanks and our admiration in the face of adversity. The institutional racism embedded in Freemasonry in the Old South is appalling to the rest of us. There is no place in the fraternity for it. The question is will the mainstream GLs in the South continue to ignore the problem as young professional men say no thanks and move on? There used to be no alternative. There is now. Actions like this give new groups like the UGLA more momentum, and the internet has made it impossible to hide these actions behind the formerly imperceptible facade of Grand Lodge proceedings.

The real question is, when will COGMNA stand up and finally call them on it? When will the rest of the North American Grand Lodges realize the international embarrassment this causes and treat the Southern GLs with half as much indignation as they treated the Grand Lodge of Minnesota when it strayed off the plantation and recognized the Grand Lodge of France? They certainly didn't mind yanking recognition of Minnesota.

"give the right hand of affection and fellowship
to whom it justly belongs, let their color and
complexion be what it will, let their nation be
what it may, for they are your Brethren, and it
is your indispensable duty so to do; let them as
Masons deny this, and we & the world know what
to think of them, be they ever so grand"

-- From Prince Hall's Charge to African Lodge,
June 24, 1797

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