My response will be in red.
You can read his response here:
Bro. Fahim's Response
Bro. Fahim began his response:
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)
Bro. Fahim El, the more you respond and the deeper the conversation goes, the more it is revealed that you have not thought through the questions you pose.
Firstly, there was no Charter given to the Grand Lodge of England to form a Grand Lodge. There are too many Antiquarians, Historian, and Scholars who have written on the subject to list as references, but any book on the history of Freemasonry, will render the same answer. No one gave the Grand Lodge of England a Charter to form a Grand Lodge.
Grand Lodges do not receive Charters to exist, only subordinate lodges. The Grand Lodge that you are member of does not exist by virtue of a Charter, but a Convention and Regular Constitution. Grand Lodes are vested by the authority of a Convention and their Constitution, not a Charter.
With that being stated, there is no evidence of a Speculative Grand Lodge prior to 1717. Let's refer to some Texts:
THE RIGHT OF EVERY MASON TO BE REPRESENTED
in all general meetings of the craft, and to instruct
his representatives, is a twelfth Landmark.f Formerly,
these general meetings, which were usually
held once a year, were called ' General Assemblies,' and all the fraternity, even to the youngest Entered
Apprentice, were permitted to be present. Now
they are called " Grand Lodges/
7 and only the Masters
and Wardens of the Subordinate Lodges are
summoned. But this is simply as the representatives
of their members. Originally, each Mason
represented himself ; now he is represented by his
officers. This was a concession granted by the fraternity
about 1717, and of course does not affect the
integrity of the Landmark, for the principle of
representation is still preserved. The concession
[A Textbook of Masonic Jurisprudence-Albert Mackey (1869)]
The above is the 12th Landmark explained by Albert Mackey, who explains that prior to 1717, there were the General Assemblies which met. In 1717, 4 Old Lodges in London formed a GRAND LODGE, and this was the first GRAND LODGE of Speculative Freemasonry.
I know that you will go to the Grand Lodge of Luxor, and state that it predates 1717, but I will then challenge you to produce a document from Luxor at that time that would prove that they were an organized Grand Lodge of Speculative Freemasonry.
There is ample documentation that will show the existence of a Grand Assembly presided by a Grand Master, and the development of said assembly of Masons into the Speculative Grand Lodge system you practice today.
So, by virtue of the law of FIRST and BEING ORIGINAL in this case, the authority to create a CONSTITUTION and ORGANIZE a Grand Lodge was well within their Masonic right. Now, after said Constitution was created, Lodges then existing had a choice to go under said organization, and they all did, except a few, and later ALL DID. So, the forms and customs practiced in America, whether practiced by white or black masons derive their origins from the 1717 system that was formed.
Now, if you don't believe or question the authority of Grand Lodge of 1717, which is the system you practice as a Prince Hall member, then why remain in the ranks of a subordinate lodge that derived its authority from a Grand Lodge, that is established according to the rules and traditions derived from the Grand Lodge of England and its modes of regularity?
If you created an organization from the ground up, and created a set of rules that governed the daily operations and set the criteria for persons or entities to be affiliated with you, wouldn't you expect those who WILLFULLY CHOSE to be affiliated with you, and practice what you practiced, to comply with the regulations and traditions you set from the very beginning? Bro. Fahim continued:
And what standards are you using to determine who should be considered ‘regular’ or ‘irregular’ Masons?
I am using the standards of Freemasonry. The standards of Regularity were set by the root of Freemasonry and the Speculative system that you practice as we speak. The system of regularity practiced by ALL MASONS who have willfully chosen to be a part of the Craft. Now, if you have those who desire to practice masonry outside the established rules of Freemasonry, then they have to be able to handle the fact that they will be considered clandestine should they choose to claim Freemasonry but practice it totally contrary to the established rules. I mean you stated in your own work:
Yet, I as a Prince Hall Mason do respect PHA efforts to not give recognition to some of these illegitimate Black Masonic Orders that have a questionable charter and their history is suspect. Many of these type clandestine orders operate under the disguise of shadiness and are duping innocent brothers out of hundreds of dollars and in some cases thousands of dollars by engaging in fraudulent and scam practices of Freemasonry (I will never support such un-Masonic conduct).
What standards are you using to claim these illegitimate Black Masonic orders as "illegitimate"?
See, you can't on the one hand use the standard of regularity to judges those whom, by your own admission, are ILLEGITIMATE; then on the other hand attempt to dispute the same standard that I use to determine who is regular and who is not by application of the same standard. Bro. Fahim continued:
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?
Yes, I agree, RHETORIC with NO SUBSTANCE.
Brother Fahim, you are a Mason, in a jurisdiction that traces its lineage back to a Charter that came from England. Your lodges Charter didn't come from Egypt or Nubia, it came from a Grand Lodge that traces its lineage to African Lodge #459, whose charter was given to them by ENGLAND.
Now, let me correct something for your.
England doesn't control what happens in America. All Grand Lodges of Regular origin are SOVEREIGN and INDEPENDENT. The United Grand Lodge of England doesn't not wield any power over any Grand Lodge in America. Keep in mind in 1826, African Grand Lodge declared Independence from the Grand Lodge of England. And after the Revolutionary War, the Lodges and Provincial Grand Lodges in America did the same. So where do you get the fact that England controls anything in America?
I think that you displace honor for control. We honor the UGLE for their being the mother of the Grand Lodge system we both practice today, and we respect their understanding and wisdom in Masonic matters, for THEY ARE THE ONES WHO CREATED THE SYSTEM, but ALL Grand Lodges in America are sovereign.
Now, the system of Freemasonry and its rules in Constitution were formed in 1721, long before the first lodge of African Americans, am I correct bro Fahim?
What this says is that the rules on how lodges are constituted was determined before Prince Hall and the 14 others were initiated. They chose to come under the system ALREADY ESTABLISHED, they did not forma new kind of Freemasonry. Even when African Grand Lodge claimed their Independence they done so by virtue of the right to form a Grand Lodge that was sovereign. They did not deviate from the usages and customs of the day. So, England isn't ALLOWED to function as a supreme authority, their standards of regularity are ACCEPTED AND ADOPTED as a means of determining who is Masonic and who is not.
If you look at the Constitutions of these clandestine groups, they are attempting to set up groups that look exactly like Grand Lodges that were formed by the same standards that they will protest against. They will use the books of white masonic authors to prove argue their legitimacy, they will fashion their doing EXACTLY LIKE they see other Grand Lodges who accept the standards of Regularity, their only problem is that they don't want to conform to the legitimate means of becoming Grand Lodges and practices of Masons. You're either PRO-BLACK or you're NOT. It seems that those who try to promote a Pro-Black form of a Europeans created system, will have a hard time trying to preach against a people and a System when they practice the same...Fahim continued:
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).
I appreciate your reminder there, but must I also remind you of the Constitution that expelled John G. Jones. They must come through the doors of regularity to get amnesty. Fahim continued:
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.
I think they were striving to practice masonry as it was given to them and they chose to participate in. I don't think they were thinking in the manner in which you attempting to propose. And, although they deemed us clandestine for the sake of not having to deal with the issues of African Americans being on the level with them, THEY WERE IN VIOLATION OF THE PRINCIPLES OF FREEMASONRY. African American Lodges operated legitimately and in due form despite the claims. And truth prevailed, WHY? because we obtained a Charter through LEGAL MEANS. When we were placed in the scale of the standards of regularity, we were found to be just and true. Clandestine groups cannot do so, and they can fix their problem all they have to do is abandon their clandestine practices and come into the fold with their brother, you protest against their unity in that form for WHAT REASON? Fahim continued:
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.
Again, please familiarize yourself with John G. Jones.
No, I think that John G. Jones committed WORST than the forefathers of White men. He was a BLACK MAN, who tricked, stole and duped his own people, he is worst than the slave master who we know was different in regards to society and complexion. We have one of our own whom we put faith in and trusted to betray and trick his own...Fahim, I tell you that JGJ was a traitor to his race. Fahim continued:
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.
I never questioned if you were Prince Hall, but since you stated it, YOU TODAY practice a European form of Freemasonry. So for all the pro-black talk you do, you are a member of a lodge who received their charter from a Grand Lodge, who traces their lineage to a Charter that was received from England, now who is being HYPOCRITICAL? You continued:
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).
No, I believe that I can help you with what I am thinking...It is how can a Pro-black advocate be a Mason in a Jurisdiction that traces their existence to an English Charter, and practice a form of masonry that derives its existence from England, then attempt to protest against England and their authority to set standards when they authored the system...I know you pride yourself as a "free-thinker", but thinking is free, it doesn't cost you anything. The question is, does your thinking match what you practice?
Let's see, Pro-Black Thinking...
English Styled Mason....No I don't believe so...Fahim Continued:
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).
I believe that the above letter I posted will serve to satisfy that point, and I made sure that it was from HIS OWN PEOPLE, so that you could claim bias...Let me know if I need to post more new information on John G. Jones for you. Fahim continued:
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).
Fahim, this is Freemasonry, a whole different set of rules apply, and the only covenant with Prince Hall Lodges that will be experienced by JGJ groups is at the Altars of Prince Hall lodges, correcting the illegalities. To be Accepted they have to go through the same doors YOU DID. Fahim continued:
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.
That is your OPINION my dear brother, and again, I believe that your rhetoric is empty. The barriers that keeps JGJ groups outside the Temple was created by their own admission into lodges that were illegally formed. They can corrected that in a process that is quite simple, why deprive them of their right to be a member of a Regular and legitimate lodge, YOU ARE....
WB John L. Hairston, Editor
The Quill and The Sword