The North Carolina Mason

July/August 2020

North Carolina Mason

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Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity..... Since time immemorial, the fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons has espoused the principle tenets of brotherly love, relief and truth. We view the human family as one, there are no big I's and little U's. We understand we have an obligation to be like the Good Samaritan and come to the aid of those in need. We realize that the truth shall forever reign. As we witness civil disturbance in our state and country and as millions of people exercise their right to march, protest and stand up against discrimination, injustice and racism, we the members of the North Carolina Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons and the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of North Carolina stand together today united. Our leadership and membership are committed to the equality of all men and denounces all illegal and negative activities that fail to allow the realization that we are in fact created equal and that we are endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights which include life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We stand for justice. We stand for peace. We stand for understanding. We stand here as Masons, we stand here as Men, we stand here with the support of our sisters and fellow citizens. Together, WE STAND!!! I need you, you need me We're all a part of God's body Stand with me, agree with me We're all a part of God's body You are important to me I need you to survive I shall attempt to articulate, educate and stimulate the hearts, minds and souls standing here together in unity in the face and threat of COVID-19. Despite underlying health concerns, we gather here, united, to say WE ALL HAVE VALUE! I was asked yesterday, why are you going to Raleigh? Well, I'm here because leaders lead and to show what right looks like. Who better to show what right looks like than the Freemasons, but not only the Freemasons, but the Freemasons of North Carolina? Look at the statement our standing together makes. Freemasonry parallels the history of the United States. Freemasonry parallels the history of prejudice and racism. Eleven years ago, the Freemasons of North Carolina took the steps required to recognize each other as brothers and men; fulfilling the true principles of the fraternity. We are the only AF&AM and PHA jurisdictional Grand Lodges in the South to share mutual recognition! Today, as some in our state and country deny, ignore and turn a blind eye to the truth about prejudice and racism, it is the Freemasons of North Carolina, again, showing the world what right looks like. We stand together showing that it is the man's heart, not his color that counts. It was William Cowper who reminded us: Fleecy locks and black complexion Cannot forfeit nature's claim; Skins may differ, but affection Dwells in white and black the same. We are like the keys on a musical keyboard, it takes the black keys and the white keys to make beautiful music; one can not do it by itself. e Pandemic of Injustice isn't new. e pandemic of racism isn't new. e pandemic of poverty isn't new. e pandemic of racial profiling isn't new. 54 years ago, Huey Newton and Bobby Seale's 7th point of their 10-point plan was, WE WANT AN IMMEDIATE END TO POLICE BRUTALITY AND MURDER OF BLACK PEOPLE, OTHER PEOPLE OF COLOR, ALL OPPRESSED PEOPLE INSIDE THE UNITED STATES. 52 years ago, in his last sermon, Remaining Awake rough a Great Revolution, on March 31, 1968, Dr. King spoke of poverty and racism. Four days later, he was assassinated. It was June 5, 1968, that Robert Kennedy in his last speech spoke on the subjects of poverty and racism; ten minutes later he was assassinated. 52 years later, we are still dealing with these two issues. Change is possible. But the change starts with the 'man in the mirror.' Change starts when we are honest with ourselves. Change starts in our hearts. Change starts when we don't do like Dives. In the parable of Dives and Lazarus, we see where Dives walked past Lazarus every day to the point Lazarus became invisible to him. We can't be like Dives, or we might find ourself like the rich man Dives, looking at heaven. We cannot and will not change, heal or resolve these pandemics by burning down buildings, looting businesses or attacking each other physi- cally. Each of those actions produce microwave satisfaction with negative results. We must use the tools provided, use the rules and systems established. We must understand the rules of the game and the games that people play. Anyone can say I'm not A, B, C or D but if the actions don't match the words, the words are hollow. Actions speak louder than words! I submit to you; change can come without resorting to physical attacks. We can effect change through economic impacts. e loss of profits leads to dialogue. Boycotts lead to conversations. We can effect change via the ballot box. We must exercise our right and vote. We must ensure every eligible voter is registered and exercises his/her right. We have no grounds to complain if we don't vote. As I conclude my remarks, I'm reminded of the words of Tracy Mayfield. It's In e Valleys I Grow Sometimes life seems hard to bear, Full of sorrow, trouble, and woe, It's then I have to remember, at it's in the valleys I grow If I always stayed on the mountain top, And never experienced pain, I would never appreciate God's love, And would be living in vain I have so much to learn, And my growth is very slow, Sometimes I need the mountain tops, But it's in the valleys I grow I do not always understand, Why things happen as they do, But I am very sure of one thing, My Lord will see me through Today is phase one, stand. Now it's time to go to phase two, the Valley. We have to go to the valley. We have to go to the valley and educate. We have to go to the valley and register. We have to go to the valley and assist. ■ see THOMPSON page 8 July/August 2020 The North Carolina Mason Page 3 Comments of Prince Hall GM Daniel ompson

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