Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Response to Bro. Fahim A. Knight -EL Part 3

The protocol has not changed, my response will be in all red, Bro. Fahim's response can be found here:

Bro. Fahim A. Knight El's Response

Bro. Fahim began his response:
Peace: Brother Hairston all of your arguments and contentions in some form or fashion I have dealt with similar arguments within the last ten years. Most of you all echo the same exact argument, which ultimately is the official line of Prince Hall Masonry.

Brother Fahim, you are Prince Hall correct?
What you deem as the "official line" is just the basic principles and customs of Freemasonry since time immemorial. There is a method to reconcile an illegitimate group into the Compasses of Regularity. You can have an "out-of-the-box-experience" if you'd like as you're entitled to that by virtue of your own Free Will and Accord, but it has to be based on something substantial; if not it comes off as a Brother who isn't quite adept in Freemasonry trying to fit an ill-shaped concept into the perfected system of the Ancient Craft. It just doesn't fit. You continued:
I have always been an outside the box thinker, writer and research. However, I reject your subtle attack on my character relative to my ability to put forth factual information and documentation

Subtle attack?!
I beg to differ my dear Brother, I made an observation that you attempted to provide a view of history without adequate documentation or evidence to support your position masonically. You then admitted that you didn't possess all the information. I don't know you to attack your character, I just pointed out a flaw in your concepts and the ideals you based it on. You continued:
White Freemasonry has not only gone astray, it is in violation of the principled language that defines brotherhood.

This is another verifiable evidence that you are not aware of the wording that you are using. There is no such think as BLACK or WHITE Freemasonry, there is only ONE Freemasonry. Here is what I will give you. Freemasons of this age are in violation of the principled language of Freemasonry, but predominately White Lodges and Jurisdictions are not the only ones at fault, it is also so-called Prince Hall lodges and jurisdiction who also break their plates at the table of universalism for the sake of what has happened in the past. You think the "denied 9" are ALL being denied recognition by so-called white lodges? My Brother, this is why you have to take off the rose lenses of Black Nationalism and see the Masonic landscape as it is. There are Prince Hall jurisdictions that are holding up the process of recognition in their state. The mainstream Jurisdiction is at the table, it is the Prince Hall jurisdiction that is deny them recognition.
Again, it is hypocritical for you to ask Prince Hall masons to forgive JGJ groups and accept them in their clandestine state and not hold the sins of their forefather against them, then in the same breath hold modern, predominately white lodges and masons accountable for the sins of their forefather. It means you truly don't believe in mercy, you just talk it, lip service. You continued:
Webster’s Dictionary defines brother as being “One closely united with another or others by religious, political, or family bond”. What happen to the belief in the Cardinal Virtues of Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence and Justice? Perhaps in the dynamics of race these words have very little meaning to the white Masonic body when it comes to their dark skinned Masonic Brothers.

You paint with such a broad brush. Not all predominately white jurisdictions hold racist tendencies toward African American masons, you're over-exaggerating. There are "BROTHERS" within the Prince Hall Organizations who don't match with the definition of Brother, what do we say of these?
My dear Brother, you must become aware of the Masonic landscape today and how it is functioning now. We are on the cusp of a masonic renaissance occurring.
You're passion can be in the unity of all black people, but realistically speaking, Freemasonry asks the unity of ALL People, broaden your horizons bro Fahim. You continued:
This argument is not about Prince Hall Masons being classified by Ancient Free and Accepted Masons as “irregular” or “clandestine”, it is convenient to hide behind such accusations, but what truly drives this fraternal division more than anything else is racism.

Bro. Fahim, This argument isn't even about racism, that is what you have conveniently diverted it to. My argument is that JGJ groups cannot receive amnesty in the present state and structure they are in, they must abandon clandestinism and join with regular lodges in order to be accepted in the family of Regular masons. MY argument, which hasn't diverted isn't based on racism, it is based on an in depth understanding of the nature of crimes committed against the Craft and the present illegitimacy of their organizational practices. YOUR argument may be about racial division and racism, but that is where you would rather be than to defend the flawed concept of offering amnesty to clandestine groups. You continued:
Masons are taught how to communicate with a fellow Mason in darkness and light based on the language of symbolism—a word (the being able to verbalize the passwords), sign (give the due guard), token (being able to give the grip) let me stop right there; IS THERE NO HELP FOR THE POOR WIDOW'S SON?

Yes there is, but you must put yourself in the PROPER POSITION and in the RIGHT AND LEGAL PLACE to receive it. You continued:
But this social phenomenal and antagonistic contradiction between black Masons and white Masons is steeped in a perhaps much larger historical debate of race in America and the culture that evolved out of Chattel Slavery (1555-1865) impacting the political, economic and social reality of race relations and affected how institutions were originated, as well as the formulation of group dynamics ideology. Dr. Asa Hilliard who authored book titled, “Reawakening of the African Mind” stated, “mental bondage is invisible violence. Formal physical slavery has ended in the United States. Mental slavery continues to this present day.

Anyone reading the course of the debate can see that you have shifted directions. But your above statement is misleading in the FACTUAL REALITY of TODAY'S MASONIC LANDSCAPE. All but 9 States recognize Prince Hall Masons; even in the 9 States, not all deny recognition to Prince Hall Masons; All United Supreme Councils (both Northern and Southern) are in recognition. Many white masonic scholars and writer are in full acceptance of the legitimacy of Prince Hall masons and enjoy fraternal relationship with them in the State. So where is the racial division outside of the sphere of the 9 Southern States? Where does your view of racial division with Freemasonry exist?
There is one place that you can look to, it is the fact that there still exists TWO Grand Lodges in the States. And, we can begin another whole topic on that alone.
I think you're statement above is filler and an ill fitted rhetoric that is totally outside the scope of the discussion at hand. You continued:
Sherrod N. Gresham in his book titled, “Prominent Prince Hall Masons on the Philatelic Materials: Stamps, First Day Covers, and Post Cards” stated, “On March 2, 1784, African Lodge #1 petitioned the Grand Lodge of England, the Premier or Mother Grand Lodge of the world, for a warrant (ort character), to organize a regular Masonic lodge, with all the rights and privileges thereunto prescribed. The Grand Lodge of England issued a character on September 29, 1784, to African Lodge # 459, the first lodge of blacks in America.” Black Masonry, for the most part, has accepted the racist practices of white masons in a passive manner. But black Freemasonry as an institution, will be called upon to be more vocal outwardly in the black community and move away from a tradition of apolitical and a non-engagement stance while the social issues are mounting in the black community and in reality there is no room for silence.

I think that you are taking his comments out of context, the paper wasn't addressing racial division in Freemasonry, but the struggles of Prince Hall Freemasonry in becoming MORE VISIBLE IN THEIR OWN COMMUNITIES. It is truth without doubt that Prince Hall lodges must now REGAIN their voice in their community, and RESTORE themselves as pillars in the communities they live in. It doesn't not take that much research to find where Prince Hall Freemasons were at the forefront in their communities, as many of the strategically positioned community leaders were members of the Fraternity, and the lodges were quite involved in their communities. Then after the 60's and that era, membership declined, which changed the policies of how candidates were investigated and received in the lodges. This began a shift in the focus of the lodges and jurisdictions. These changes are documented in many of the proceedings and other works of notable authors. We are TALKING FREEMASONRY HERE NOT CIVIL RIGHTS. It is a known fact that Freemasonry was well connected to the Church and Social Organizations such as the NAACP. So, while I agree with Bro. Gresham on his statement that we "will be called upon to be more vocal outwardly in the black community and move away from a tradition of apolitical and a non-engagement stance while the social issues are mounting in the black community", I also add that Prince Hall Freemasons were once VERY VOCAL in the community, there was a shift in the paradigm that had everything to do with US and not what WHITE MASONS WERE DOING...They were suffering from the same membership decline. I think that the above excerpt doesn't apply to the context of the argument that you're attempting to make, he placed the responsibility on black people, not white racism...You continued:
The above historical facts should serve as evidence which to dismantle the question of whether or not Prince Hall Freemasonry should be designated and viewed by white Masons as “irregular”

Bro. Fahim, you're speaking in the microcosmic. The vast majority of white Freemasons and predominately white Jurisdictions do not view African American freemasons, who are members of Prince Hall jurisdictions as irregular. I challenge you to find a predominately white jurisdiction, outside the southern States that are not in Fraternal Relations with Prince Hall Grand Lodges, who view Prince Hall lodges as irregular. You're not being factual. You continued:
thus, there is enough historical documentation that suggest that these African-American Masons did received a legitimate and authentic charter from the Grand Lodge of England. Now! I am quite sure this argument has been presented over and over again, to the white Grand Lodges of the United States, but to little or no avail.

The above is based on a faulty premise, can you show me more Grand Lodges than the southern ones that view Prince Hall lodges as such, provide your documentation. You have to catch up with what is going on in the masonic world today my brother. You continued:

Racism is a mindset that considers black people as a group as being inferior to whites because of physical (‘genotypical’ and ‘phenotypical’) traits. The racist further believes that these physical traits are detriments of social behavior and moral or intellectual qualities, and ultimately presumes that this inferiority is a legitimate basis for inferior social treatment of black people in society.

Can you find me a Grand Lodge, predominately white, that believe this? I don't want you to "interpret" anything, I want you to provide documentation as to the above statement and allegation against white Grand Lodges. You continued:
Brother Hairston, now, you sound a bit emotional; let me take you back to my initial premise and what got us on the questing of race relative to Freemasonry and the United States and the question of Brother John G. Jones and Ancient Free and Accepted Masonry. I have said consistently and throughout this debate and have written numerous pieces on my Blog advocating Black Masonic unity.

Again, another diversionary tactic to claim I am emotional, when NO emotion was involved in any of my statements, YOU ARE ASSUMING. I have never left the initial premise, I have always stayed the course. I remained on topic, it was YOU who took the conversation to racism. Black Masonic unity is only possible AMONG MASONS. Those who are members of illegitimate groups must correct the first point which is to abandon clandestine masonic practices and join regular lodges. I have reiterated this as a solution from the beginning, you were not willing to accept the solution. You continued:
What’s hypocritical is for Prince Hall Masons to embrace the racist and white confederate Masons in the United States of America as their brothers (overlooking their past un-Masonic history and conduct towards Prince Hall Masons and we have found ways to ease the social and political tension), but will not extended an olive branch to another black man who was raised and went through all the Masonic Houses and no doubt was once a Prince Hall Affiliated Mason in good standings.

I want to you to really evaluate you above statement in light of the facts.

1. Prince Hall Masons do not embrace racist masons, even when the racist masons are BLACK.

2. Now again, you ask Prince Hall masons to overlook the past history of JGJ, but can't do the same for Good Brothers of the White race who don't hold the same sentiments as their forefathers; this is hypocritical. We don't overlook any part of history, I am a historian. But, I know how to judge a persons character based on their presentation. And the laws of masonry are JUST THAT, LAWS.

3. JGJ was indeed raised in a Prince Hall Lodge and was accepted as long as he was in good standing there, when he was expelled according to the law, that ended his acceptance as a Mason. Which of the JGJ members are members of Prince Hall lodges NOW? You see how your statement falls in on itself?

You will readily recognize the legitimacy of Prince Hall lodges and how that JGJ connection to that legitimacy is to be remembered, but shouldn't followers of JGJ do as he did? get raised in a Prince Hall lodge, go through the Houses and be in good standing? wouldn't that be more appropriate, to be as he WAS, and not what he BECAME? I appreciate you for that part there. You continued:
The history of Jones is clear and we all know that he was expelled and/or suspended for various conducts that went against our constitution and/or PHA Masonry code book (this much I agree with the argument and this history has been well documented).

If this is the case, then why ask JGJ members to remain in lodges that are products of all that you yourself have readily admitted, but enjoy the benefits of regularity yourself? I think that is selfish and not very pro black of you. You're telling JGJ members, yeah JGJ violated the law and was expelled, which consequently makes your lodges illegal masonically, but you remain in that clandestine state while I myself enjoy the benefits of Regularity and sit in the ship that once covered your founder...Bro. Fahim, in your attempt to produce "black masonic unity", you are really entombing a whole population of potential masons from being able to share in the same rights, light and benefits you have...Is this really unity? or the rhetoric of a black nationalist that has deliberately narrowed his view of Freemasonry to maintain his beliefs? You continued:
But if Negroes can forgive their former slave master’s children for committing crimes against humanity (slavery was a crime against humanity) in which there were no other crime in the Americas like the effect of the Transatlantic Slave, Middle Passage and Chattel Slavery, it lasted for 310 years. And we forgave them for these heinous or horrid crimes.

I think you believe that forgiveness and holding one accountable are the same thing. It is not. While we can forgive JGJ for his acts, there was a masonic sentence pronounced that he willfully chose to disregard to commit further acts. The lodges that descend from his illegal work must come through the proper channels to enjoy membership in the masonic brotherhood. Forgiveness has nothing to do with that, that is just the LAW. It is like one who commits a crime. The victim may forgive him as a person for the crime perpetrated against him, but it doesn't vacate the verdict and sentence pronounced, because he must be held accountable for that crime. JGJ is still to this day under Masonic sentence. members of lodges under his illegal charters must correct this by abandoning the FRUIT of his work, and come under a lawful covering, JUST AS YOU ARE NOW. This is called JUSTICE! You continued:
No, John G. Jones did kill over 100 million Africans, separated black families, unmerciful raped our women—stripe us of our God (surely the Christianity and the white Jesus that you teach and pray to were given to you by our former slave masters), took our names, culture, tradition, folkways, mores and made us into Negroes. There was nothing Brother John G. Jones did in this dispute that amounts to the crimes that the white American task makers and colonial masters put on people of African decent.

Masonically Speaking, YES!
The well documented practices where many African American masons are excluded from the fountain of Regularity and becoming part and partial of the Brotherhood of Freemasonry due to the lies taught by these groups. The money made at the expense of those who truly believe that they are legitimate. The constant dividing these unsuspecting members from their right to be regular and legal is equivalent of a Masonic death, that cries for the right hand of raising under the true legacy and legitimacy of Freemasonry. You continued:
Yet, in our Willie Lynch mindset we have forgiving those who committed, perhaps one of the greatest atrocity to found any place in human history. Yes, amnesty and exoneration, and forgiveness should be top priority in assessing and evaluating John G. Jones linage Freemasonry.

I disagree, forgiveness has happened, the amnesty isn't going to, but the option that is the most suitable and most masonic is available, they can JOIN REGULAR LODGES and enjoy freemasonry the same as you, don't deprive them Brother. You continued:
We cannot change the history that has already been written, but could objectively come to the table and reach across the aisle in spirit of brotherly love and resolve this over 100 year dispute and move forward in the spirit of black Masonic unity.

The dispute can end today, by JGJ groups joining regular Grand Lodges, which is my utmost desire for them all. Nothing else is suitable, because you will still have clandestine lodges. You cannot trace yourself to an expelled mason and then believe that it is masonic to just accept all the illegal work. You actually speak from the position who really has no regard for what is just, just what will support your position. You continued:
No, my premise is the same, I do not have to use diversionary tactics to show and demonstrate who position is flawed and it will lend itself to the real hypocrite having to stand up. I have no respect for the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) who we have sought for over two centuries—working and fighting to obtained recognition from European Masonic entities is a disgrace and a shame in the eyes of our ancestors. We in the 21st century, a so-called free people still seeking approval from white people, it represents a despicable act. I am will take on all the PHA Grand Masters on this issue and I will defeat all of them because my position is rooted in the universal order of good and the universe is using me as its vessel. Also, send me all the PHA scholars my way as well and I will intellectual handcuff them as well.
I had to laugh here, because I think you're getting a bit ahead of yourself. You have to do a much better job of being able to maintain a topic than this to call out all Masonic Scholars. You would have to be actually versed in Freemasonry.
I think you should grab the nearest book on Freemasonry and truly do your homework. What happens when one begins to find the fact that he has no more place to position his feet, he then become arrogant and begins to speak chaotic in hope of inciting the passions of unsuspecting, but the awakened and conscious Freemasons know that you have failed utterly in trying to fit a black nationalist ideal in a universal concept...No, you just calm down my dear brother and contemplate and use wisdom in your speech, because you have in one stroke of the keyboard lost what support you did have in the discussion.


WB John L. Hairston, Editor
The Quill and The Sword


  1. Peace: Brother Hairston, I will be given you a complete response to this recent commentary.

    Stay Awake Until We Meet Again,
    Fahim A. Knight-El

  2. Peace: Brother Hairston: This is the fundamental question that Brother Hairston keeps avoiding. Who gave the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) their charter? (please answer this question for my audience) And what standards are you using to determine who should be considered ‘regular’ or ‘irregular’ Masons? This is a rhetorical question because I already know the answer; the only standard that you have at your disposal in determining a ‘competent jurisdiction’ is that which those can trace their Masonic charters back to white folk in England (Negroes always need an affirmation from master) and we allow them function and act as supreme authority and determinist over the legality of Masons to be viewed as a ‘regular’ or ‘irregular’ Masonic entity. Here is the contradiction, why weren’t the white Masons charged with un-Masonic conduct unless you consider racism and white supremacy as upstanding and acceptable principles in Masonry? Now, for the record within the English language and Lexicon amnesty is a form of forgiveness contrary to your assessment (I thought I would bring this to your attention). We as Prince Hall Masons after 200 years of being denied full Masonic rights and privileges we forgave them (let me say White Folk) and thought that it was important to be accepted and recognized by our 400 year old oppressor. John Jones did not commit the type of atrocities that you all forgave white Masons for, but when it comes to another Black man and Mason you would like impose a double standard. This represents the epitome of Masonic hypocrisy. You also subtlety questioned whether or not I am a Prince Hall Mason, I am member Doric Lodge # 28 PHA; Durham, NC located within 24th Masonic District (my membership can be verified and I am quite sure it has already been verified by you) and for record I am not hiding or ducking I stand by every word that I have stated. What is bothering you, perhaps in your mind, is how in the hell a PHA Mason has learned to think for himself (for the record I have been a Free Thinker for a very long time—I do not look for the Grand Lodge to think for me). I think you alluded to notion that I have bitten off more than I can handle (perhaps you do not know me, but this is what I do). Please give me some new information on the John Jones issue other than parroting what others have said (it is almost like you guys are reading from a script and are fearful of deviating from the official version). My position is and will always be rooted in Black Masonic unity and there is nothing you and no one else can do to change my perspective. Let me reiterate my position; I think Black Masonic entities such as the one founded by John G. Jones should be allowed to enter into an acceptable and agreeable covenant with Prince Hall Masonry (our U.S. Commander-in-Chief and even prior Commander-in-Chiefs engaged their foreign enemies in talk diplomacy—USSR, Cuba, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, China, North Korea, etc., and diplomatic treaties and accords are/were established). This is done on the highest level of international relations—enemies coming to the table to talk about their political, economic and social differences, but are willing to find common ground to move forward in lieu of peace. Your position truly lacks logic and reasoning; we should always exemplify the best in intelligence and use our principles in Masonry to breakdown artificial barriers and not find it conveniently to erect more ideological or philosophical barriers.

    Stay Awake Until We Meet Again,
    Fahim A. Knight-El