Couple Outraged Over Neighborhood’s ‘Whites Only’ Clause, Controversial Policy Sparks Outrage

One Sacramento, CA neighborhood has come under fire for its controversial “whites only” policy. According to ABC 7 News, the discriminatory “whites only” clause made headlines after a new couple closed on a home in the El Dorado Hills neighborhood.

Before signing the community agreement for their new home, they noticed the distinctive clause in the Lake Hills Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions.

It read, “No person except those of the white Caucasian race shall use, occupy or reside upon any residential lot or plot in this subdivision, except when employed in the household of a white Caucasian tenant or owner.”

Needless to say, the couple – only identified as the Fosters – were outraged. The “whites only” clause was reportedly included in the Lake Hills CC&R back in 1961. But, even though segregation was declared unconstitutional in 1968, the community never removed the clause from its CC&R.

Surprisingly, the “whites only” clause has received a mixed response from other residents in the neighborhood. Dwight Holkko, another new resident in the neighborhood, admitted he didn’t notice what he’d signed.

Many other residents are said to be aware of the “whites only” clause but overlook it since there are non-white residents living there now. In fact, the person designated to enforce the rules within the CC&R admitted he had no idea the “whites only” clause existed either. But, the Foster family argues that’s not the point.

During a recent interview with WATE News, the Fosters voiced their frustrations over the offensive clause. Although “whites only” clauses can no longer be enforced due to the Fair Housing Act of 1968, the couple believes the clause still sends the wrong message to new residents.

It can also give the wrong impression of people already residing in the neighborhood despite non-whites being allowed to live there now. Are residents racist because they reside in a neighborhood with a clause that ostracizes non-whites? That’s exactly what the Fosters don’t want people to think.

“I’m like you’ve got to be kidding me,” the wife said. “That’s ridiculous. That’s really kind of awful and racist and terrible. Everybody knows you can’t enforce things like that. It still sends a message.”

Holkko also agreed the Lake Hills CC&R could use an update to officially remove the “whites only” clause. “It should be reversed just to get it off the record… what their motivation is,” said Holkko.

The controversy behind the whites-only clause follows a string of racially charged incidents that have plagued the United States all summer. Although the “whites only” clause appears to be nothing more than old words on paper, it could prove to be a relatively big problem if there ever were an incident speculated to be racially motivated in the area.

Here’s why.

Back in July, two highly publicized murders of African-Americans by white police officers reignited the ongoing debates about racial injustice and inequality in the United States.

There was also an incident involving a man, claiming to be part of a neighborhood watch group, who took matters into his own hands by killing an unarmed 20-year-old African-American male.

A “whites only” clause like the one in the Lake Hills CC&R for El Dorado Hills would probably spark outrage and automatically be labeled an incident of racial profiling even if it weren’t.

The Fosters are going a step further to raise awareness about the clause in hopes of having it removed from the CC&R. They’ve reportedly turned to a community networking site to make their neighbors aware of their concerns. Community services have agreed to resolve the issue and revise the clause.

Do you think the “whites only” clause should be removed from the Lake Hills CC&R? Share your thoughts.

[Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images]