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President Bush To Move Into Racially Exclusive Neighborhood?

Real estate broker Doug Newby says there is "no protest that this is the house" the Bushes will move into after leaving the White House. Courtesy hide caption

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Is President Bush about to move into an exclusive Dallas neighborhood, which until 2000 had a "whites only" rule on the books?

Several national and local outlets have picked up a story reported by Raw Story's Andrew McLemore (emphasis ours):

Traffic has already begun to clog the narrow streets around the home, causing neighbors to call the police — who expect the hullabaloo to continue.

"When the Bushes are here full time, I imagine we'll be here full time," said Officer Michael Bratcher of the Dallas Police Department, who was directing traffic.

But the exclusive Dallas community the Bush family will soon join has a troubled history of its own.

Until 2000, the neighborhood association's covenant said only white people were allowed to live there, though an exception was made for servants.

Enacted in 1956, 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."

The entire covenant can be seen here.

When asked about his new home in an interview with The Dallas Morning News, Bush "played coy."

"Mr. President — you excited about your house in Dallas?" Todd Gillman asked.

"Todd, why do you care?" Bush responded. "You live in Washington, D.C."

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.

Though the Fair Housing Act would render such an archaic neighborhood ordinance unenforceable, we turned to Dallas real estate broker Douglas Newby for insight. He was among the first to report the Bush family's house hunting on his blog.

Newby says the Bushes have chosen a home in Mayflower Estates — "a little known Preston Hollow estate area neighborhood
of just over 100 houses" — within Dallas.

Though the Preston Hollow enclave is largely white, Newby says nearby John J Pershing Elementary School is ethnically and racially diverse.

So if the Bush family's new neighborhood is racially exclusive, it may have more to do with who has the money to purchase the million-dollar homes located there.

And, for what it's worth, Newby says the talk of Bush living close to Perot and Cuban is overblown: "[They] aren't anywhere near this neighborhood!"