An interracial couple in Texas were surprised when they saw that the deed to the home they were buying included a clause that mandated that only white people would be allowed to live in the house.
Maggie Rios and her fiance, Fidel Simmons, who is black, were just days from closing on the home when Rios was going through some documents from the title company and noticed a clause specifying that the home was Caucasian-only. Specifically, the deed said that non-white persons could not occupy any dwelling other than servants’ quarters.
Simmons was absolutely floored. “You might see certain things in textbooks, but nothing that I thought could have impacted me maybe in this day and age,” he said of seeing the physical proof of prejudice.
The title company said that the clause had remained in the title because it included other specifications not related to civil rights but pointed out that because of the Civil Rights Act, the clause mandating “whites only” was not valid and was unenforceable. They said that the documents sent to home buyers included explanations stating that portions of the documents were unenforceable or invalid.
But Simmons disagrees. “To me that document is very valid. Even though it’s not going to function anymore, it has validity. It means something.”
However, Simmons doesn’t want to remove the language from the title, saying that he wanted to be sure the history remained without any attempt to “rewrite” it.