Monday, December 8, 2008

Bush Neighborhood Officially Integrated 8 Years Ago

Apparently, President Bush has become enamored with big city livin' and so has chosen to buy a home in bustlin' dallas, 2 hours and 19 minutes away from his ranch in Crawford (where spent nearly 500 days of his presidency or nearly a year and a half).

His new home is an exclusive neighborhood in the Preston Hollow neighborhood of Dallas, with neighbors like the owner of the Texas Rangers and Dallas Stars, as well as a smattering of lawyers and investment bankers. According to the Dallas News:
The house was purchased with a $3,074,000 loan issued by the Community National Bank in Midland – a note that must be paid in full by October 2012, according to documents signed by Mr. McCleskey.

Traditionally, such purchases also require a cash down payment of at least 10 percent and normally 20 percent, although it is unclear whether such a down payment was made in this case.
The house (which according to Google is the house above) is more than 8,500 square feet and sits on 1.1 acres (which might be considered almost humble for that neighborhood).

Most surprisingly the neighborhood, known as James Meaders Estates, had a paragraph in it's covenant that prohibited non-white non-servants from living in the neighborhood. Paragraph 11 of the covenant (which was removed in July of 2000) read:
11) Said property shall be used and occupied by white persons only except these covenants shall not prevent occupancy by domestic servants of a different race or nationality in the employ of a tenant.
I really hope that the delay is a reflection of the difficulty in changing covenants, or simply the fact that no one had reviewed that document since 1956. I doubt it. Either way, it reflects something very ugly about this neighborhood. I'd be willing to bet it hasn't changed much in 50 years (except for houses getting bigger). You can see the covenant here. There's a full article from raw story here.

Update: It may sound like I'm simply being biased against a southern neighborhood for sins of a by-gone age. If I am biased, it only comes from experience. I come from a town that did not allow African-Americans in town after sundown (a sundown town) until the 1970s and still deals with the legacy of segregation and other racial issues. Any town that ever had these rules has a legacy to deal with, a neighborhood that wrote it into their covenant and did not remove it until the year 2000 has some significant issues.

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