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Freemasonry Watch

Governor Has To Defend Himself Because He Belongs To An Organization With No Black Members

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KXMB CBS - Bismarck, North Dakota

Governor Has To Defend Himself Because He Belongs To An Organization With No Black Members

Sep 30 2006

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) Gov. Bob Riley is defending his membership in a Masonic organization that critics say excludes blacks.

Riley, a Republican who is running for re-election against Democratic Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley, is a member of a Masonic lodge in his east Alabama hometown of Ashland that is affiliated with the Grand Lodge of Alabama, a statewide group with no known blacks among more than 30,000 members.

Speaking in an interview with The Associated Press, Riley said he did not know whether his lodge had any black members. But Riley denied that the Masonic group is racist, as did two leaders of the organization in interviews Friday.

Riley’s membership in the Masons has been mentioned on Internet blogs and was a hot topic on a Birmingham-based talk show hosted by Russ and Dee Fine, Baxley supporters who claim they were fired earlier this week partly for pointing out Riley’s membership in the Masons.

In an interview, Dee Fine said a governor shouldn’t be a member of an all-white group, particularly since Grand Lodge documents dating to 1876 show it bars blacks as members.

“If nothing else it’s surely not politically astute,” she said.

Right. And the fact that no black person has ever even applied to be a member of the organization isn’t relevant at all.

The head of the Grand Lodge of Alabama, Grand Master Frank W. Little, said he knows of no blacks among the 32,000 members of the state organization, which has 318 lodges and accepts new members by applications and referrals from other members.

But Little denied that there is anything in the organization’s current constitution or edicts to prevent a black from joining.

“To my knowledge I don’t know of any black who’s ever applied for membership in the Grand Lodge,” he said. “Is there anything that would prevent them? No. As the grand master, if I heard of any lodge that denied a man membership because of his race they wouldn’t be a lodge for long.”

I now return you to the Allen/Webb campaign, where they’re still trying to figure out which candidate uttered the word “nigger” nearly four decades ago.

View the Original Blog Post


Comments Posted by KXNet.com Users


Posted by Boaz on Sep 30 2006 8:22AM
Note: From the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Alabama
1876 Page 23 & 24 photo copy is available at

The Grand Lodge of Alabama DOES NOT RECOGNIZE Prince Hall Masons
(African-Americans) and any Lodge under current Grand Lodge Edict or
Law would be in violation if they have African-American members
according to official Grand Lodge Resolution."As to Negro Masons"

"Whereas, the question of the recognition of Negro Masons has been
made more than usually prominent during the last year; and whereas
this Grand Lodge has a well-settled opinion upon this subject, which
she desires most respectfully and fraternally to express to her
sister Grand Lodges everywhere, and especially to those of the United
States; she deems the present a fit opportunity to set forth the
reasons which impel her to that opinion.

1. It is indisputable that whatever theory we adopt as to the origin
of Masonry- whether that which carries it back to the original Father
of mankind, and his immediate descendents;, or to Enoch and Noah; or
to the building of King Solomon's Temple; or arising from the
constitutions of Pythagoras; or if we trace it back to the Eleusinain
Mysteries; or to those of Ceres, and the institution of the
Bacchanalia; or, what is most probable of all, the incorporation of
the Roman builders under Numa Pompilius that theory carries us back
to the Caucasian Race.

2. Masonry was originally, what it is mainly today, a social
institution; intended for those who daily mingled in the ordinary
walks of life, in business, in pleasure, and in the family circle;
into which it is not credible that anyone of the Negro or any other
of the inferior races, could have been admitted.

3. That Negroes have of late years been admitted into Lodges of Free
Masons is due, it is believed, to the sympathy which has been excited
for them by anti-slavery societies generally, and particularly by
those of the United States; and that any were admitted during the
revolutionary war by traveling Lodges belonging to the British Army,
was due to the feeling which existed at that time against American
patriots; a proceeding entirely at variance with the object of the
formation of such Lodges, they having no right to confer the degrees
upon any citizen or resident of the county in which they might be
sojourning, but only upon members of the army to which such Lodges

4. Although it is usually said that Masonry is universal, and that in
every clime Masons are to be found; yet it is only universal in so
far as the Caucasian Race has carried it into every quarter of the
globe; and if that race has sometimes admitted Negroes, and others of
the inferior races, it has done so in violation of the original and
fundamental laws of the Fraternity.

5. In view, therefore, of these facts, indisputable as they are
conceived to be, the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of
Alabama seizes the present as a fit and proper occasion, to declare
its purpose, under no circumstances whatever acknowledge the legality
of Negro-masons, such acknowledgement being foreign to the original
purpose of the Fraternity, and introducing an element of
demoralization into the society."

Resolution passed in 1876 and reaffirmed in 1970.

Posted by Mary on Sep 30 2006 2:36PM
Why do white political candidates have to justify belonging to all white organizations. We do not ask that black candidates justify their affiliation with all black organizations or even with organizations which are considered by some to be somewhat radical? Seems like a double standard to me.

Posted by Bamylon on Oct 2 2006 3:44AM
Realize career politicians and masonic order dictates law on a local level not just the federal level.

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