Bush To Move Into Formerly "Whites Only" Neighborhood

[media id=6913] As George Bush prepares for retirement, he and Laura are moving to the upscale Dallas neighborhood of Preston Hollow, an exclusive ar

As George Bush prepares for retirement, he and Laura are moving to the upscale Dallas neighborhood of Preston Hollow, an exclusive area, which in past times was kept even more exclusive by means of a covenant, a sort of a promissory agreement:

In the 1920s and 1930s, covenants that restricted the sale or occupation of real property on the basis of race, ethnicity, or religion were common in the United States, particularly in the South where the primary intent was to keep "white" neighborhoods "white". Such a covenant might prohibit a buyer of property from reselling, leasing or transferring the property "to any colored person or persons or any person or persons of Ethiopean [sic] or Semitic race or the any descendant [of such a race]." These restrictions were invalidated by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Hansberry v. Lee in 1940. Title insurance policies now often contain exclusions preventing coverage of such restrictions.

From CBS11 in Dallas, we learn that "the covenant was enacted in 1956" and was not legally changed until 2001. "Eight years earlier, in 1948, the U.S. Supreme Court made it illegal to enforce such covenants. The court said although private groups could legally make agreements to exclude people of certain races from using property, the states could not enforce them".

Part of the original document reads:

Said property shall be used and occupied by white persons except those shall not prevent occupancy by domestic servants of different race or nationality in the employ of a tenant.

Click here to read the entire original covenant and the amendments which removed the racially restrictive parts of it.

Raw Story also mentions some of Bush's new neighbors:

The neighborhood is home to many famous people, including former presidential candidate Ross Perot and Mark Cuban, the billionaire businessman and Dallas Mavericks owner.

President Bush's new house abuts the 14-acre lair of real-estate investor Gene Phillips, who just had a trout-filled lake installed on his property.

Of course, none of this implies that George Bush is a racist, or anything of that sort. Such restrictions are a throwback to the past, a sad reminder of an earlier era. But the irony of George Bush moving back to Texas to a formerly all-white area just as Barack Obama readies to move into the White House is quite rich indeed.

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