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Horrified by 'whites-only' language in their property deeds, Ladera residents worked hard to purge it

Original post made on Jul 17, 2023

When Leslie Wambach was house hunting on the Midpeninsula, she thought she had found the perfect home. But then she discovered something that gave her pause: The property deed included outdated and illegal racial restrictions.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, July 6, 2023, 9:29 AM

Comments (5)

Posted by Resident
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 17, 2023 at 5:29 pm

Resident is a registered user.

It seems to me these displays of atoning for the white sins of the past is a form of moral licensing to maintain the extreme income inequality we live with in places like Palo Alto. Presently we have a problem with income inequality, not racial inequality.

Posted by MyFeelz
a resident of another community
on Jul 18, 2023 at 10:42 am

MyFeelz is a registered user.

These seem to be "rich white people problems".

This website shows all of the demographics in Ladera as of the 2020 census. Web Link The city is:

99.1 US Citizens

89.6% non hispanic white

0% hispanic

0% black

9.75% foreign born

$164,063 annual median earnings of men

$115,074 annual median earnings of women

And now with this revelation that history repeats itself over and over again, they want how many people to pore through thousands of documents to erase the past? I say leave it in. It doesn't apply, by law, but it does show a disturbing trend in Ladera. With or without the discriminatory language on deeds and other documents, Ladera, with average homes costing $2 million per house, will never change. This is a pure attempt at literally whitewashing the reality of Ladera. There never were any black people living there and there still aren't any black people living in Ladera. Though there are 2 people in 2020 who were of mixed race, they apparently don't qualify as black under the census count.

But the good news is, they found half of the multi-racial people living there and got a photo of her for the paper. Since home prices are out of reach for working class people, the demographics will never change. There are probably people scratching their head, trying to figure out how 9.1% non-white people got in, in the first place. 1385 population, you couldn't fill a stadium or even a set of high school bleachers. But it's good to know they can get access to recorded documents to expunge the evidence -- a regular Santa Clara County resident can't get ANY recorded without paying a troll after crossing the rainbow bridge. Web Link Cash Is King.

Posted by Reese Jenkins
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 18, 2023 at 12:13 pm

Reese Jenkins is a registered user.

Ladera is no different than Palo Alto in that one must be able to afford their dwellings. If one cannot afford to reside in Ladera or Pali Alto, look elsewhere. It has nothing to do with racism, just affordability.

Posted by Anita Wickersham
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 19, 2023 at 9:40 am

Anita Wickersham is a registered user.

Having grown up in Ladera, it was always a predominantly white, upper middle class neighborhood with an outstanding swim club and outside of the Webb Ranch, a very suburban setting.

People with horses lived further up Alpine Road (i.e. Westridge and beyond).

The only people of color that I recall seeing in Ladera were either gardeners or construction workers doing various home remodelings and repairs.

Nothing wrong with that as Ladera is not for everyone.

Posted by Lydia Kou
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 26, 2023 at 7:06 pm

Lydia Kou is a registered user.

You may have meant well, but...This is the Erasure of the history of racism toward a few nationalities; African Americans, Chinese/Asians, Jews. I have seen property deeds that distinctly named these nationalities.

So, does this erasure help to feel less guilty? Erase the racist past and it never happened?

I am Chinese and my husband is African American. When we bought our house in Palo Alto and we read the preliminary title report, we did find the racial restrictions in our property deed and, oh yes, we were beyond disgusted, then it turned to anger. But then we realized...WE ARE THE CHANGE! We are now owners of a property where once upon a time we were not allowed to own.

We don't need words in a deed that is unenforceable to succeed. Don't you get it, these racial restrictions are UNENFORCEABLE.

We want people to be uncomfortable, we want it to be painful, we want people to be disgusted, we want people to be angry, we want people to remember the racism and those who fought it, we want people to push back on racism.

I want my children to know this part of history, to be able to learn from it and that the right to own property did not come without a fight and the loss of life.

With this act of erasure, it has been wiped away as if there were no racism, as if the African Americans and Chinese were not made to ask the white folks they worked for to write permission letters if they wanted to leave the house, as if we didn't fight for the rights of property ownership, freedoms and liberties.

This letter titled The Legacy of Slavery and The Danger of Erasure written to the Members of the Harvard Chan School Community sums it up!
Web Link

The Erasure of the racist restrictions in property deeds is a huge lack of acknowledgement of how far we have come and a slap in the face to those who fought for the rights to own property and to live with freedom.

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