(WaPo) — A screenshot from WhereWhitePeopleMeet.com. Sam Russell suspected his dating startup, Where White People Meet, would ruffle a few Internet feathers. It’s why the site’s “About” page carefully avoids mention of Russell or his wife, Jodie, and why their address is listed as a P.O. box in Dallas. But 53-year-old Russell — the former owner of a used-car empire and the resident of a Zip code that is 92.4 percent white — swears he isn’t afraid of the backlash to his brand-new dating site. “It’s about equal opportunity,” Russell explained. “The last thing in the world I am is racist. I dated a black woman once. I helped raise a young black man … I just believe it’s hypocrisy to say ‘one group can do this, but another can’t.’” The couple bought the domain “wherewhitepeoplemeet.com” in May 2015 and commissioned their son, a high school senior, to design it. While an early version has been online since August, the site officially launched last weekend when Russell unveiled an immediately divisive billboard southwest of Salt Lake City.
I like to think that I’ve developed a pretty solid sensibility when it comes to race, but any problem with this is absurd. The real world has meet white people spots, like Irish bars and Equinoxes, why shouldn’t the internet have one? It’s not “meet white people then go on a first date to burn a cross on a black persons lawn.” It’s just a place for people who have a preference for whiteys. No different than a site where people have a preference for tall people, gluten free, or mustachioed people (all real sites). Just caters to certain predilections, not racist at all. Trust me, I’d know. I haven’t dated a black person like Sam Russell but I have watched ebony porn so I’m kind of an expert on race relations.
My one problem is with the billboard location. Why the heck would you need a whitepeoplemeet.com billboard in Salt Lake City? That’s just bad business. Instructions to meet white people in Utah are very simple: go outside. Go to the mountain, the canyon, the ballet, the opera, the zoo, the Joesph Smith building, literally anywhere. Just go outside, you won’t find a black person. If Sam was a good businessman he’d put these billboards in New Orleans, Detroit, Atlanta, places like that. But meet white people in Utah? Throw a snowball in any direction, you’ll hit one right in their Canada Goose jacket.