The Homes of Violence

My parents purchased their Seattle house in 1972. It’s a peaceful community not too far from downtown where yesterday violence took to the streets. Tomorrow is June in the year 2020. The Briarcliff Development was created in June of 1925 as an addition to the City of Seattle. As far as I can tell there were two Briarcliff phases:

Briarcliff 1 – 122 Planned Homes

Briarcliff 2 – 40 Planned Homes

The Covenants for the developments defined the community. It was ok to have a dog or a cat but it was not permissible to have livestock on the property. In addition it also read; No person other than of the White race shall be permitted to occupy any portion of any lot in this plat, or of any building at any time there on, except a domestic servant actually employed by a White occupant of such building.Note – White was capitalized.

There are over 500 of these deeds on records with discriminatory language. The Briarcliff language was all inclusive. Some were specific and included Hebrews, Semitics, Ethiopians, Asiatics, Negros, Malay, Turkish Empire, Japanese and Chinese.  – Seattle Restrictive Covenant History – Seattle Covenant Map

When we arrived in 1972 the Covenant most likely still contained the language making it illegal for my adopted sister from Korea and her friend Tiffany an adopted African American, to live in the community. It is doubtful it would have been enforced yet it was still permissible until 1968 for covenants to have these type of restrictions.

Here is the kicker. In many covenants the language remains to this day.

I grew up in White Privilege and I continue to benefit from White Privilege today. 

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