BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The Masons, the storied fraternal order whose members have included Mozart, George Washington and John Wayne, has become entwined across the Deep South with the remnants of another tradition in these parts: strict segregation.I hadn't heard about this. To me, it just validates and confirms the South's reputation as a region populated largely by civic throwback and neanderthals... and I *am* a Southerner!
Nationwide, Masonic groups operate in a separate-but-supposedly-equal system in which whites typically join one network of Masonic groups, called Grand Lodges, and blacks typically join another, called Prince Hall.
But in the South, it goes further: White-controlled Grand Lodges in 12 Southern states do not even officially recognize black Masons as their brothers — the Masonic term is "mutual recognition" — and in some cases, black lodges have taken similar stands.
I will say, though, that I've been quite disappointed with the low levels of journalistic competence and *integrity* that I've witnessed over the past couple of years. I wouldn't be TOO surprised to find that the article fails to mention that there are differences in how the Blacks and whites practice their "Masonry." That'd, potentially anyway, be a much more substantive reason for refusing to recognize each other as brothers... more substantive than skin color, anyway.
As it stands, I'm going to more or less take the article at face value.
Even though I'm not big on such fraternal orders, I find this rather sad and distasteful.