The creators of the niche dating website WhereWhitePeopleMeet.com have begun to speak out and defend their website following harsh backlash and criticism after its launch a couple months ago.
Sam and Jodie Russell, founders of Where White People Meet, argued that they are not “racist” and that their website does not discriminate against people of various races.
“We are not racist at all, without question,” Sam told ABC News. “Our lifestyle shows it. The things we do. The people we associate with. The way we conduct ourselves each and every day proves it.”
After the couple launched their business in Salt Lake City, Utah, with a giant billboard in a region where the population is more than 90 percent white, the city asked them to take it down because the billboard was too controversial. The Russells, however, insist that they not only expected the backlash, but welcomed it, too, as an avenue for promoting serious and healthy conversations about race relations and preferences.
— ABC News (@ABC) March 15, 2016
“We realize that you don’t have to get offended every time you hear the word ‘white’ or the word ‘black,'” Sam told ABC News.
“The fact that we are having people of different races come to us and say, ‘Thank you for doing this. It’s about time’ — I think what it does is, it takes the handcuffs off I think in a small way,” Jodie added. “Everything starts somewhere, and if we are the people that start the ball rolling and talking about it so it’s not a big deal, I think it’s huge.”
Sam told ABC News that the idea for starting the website came to him after he saw an ad for another niche dating website called BlackPeopleMeet.com.
“I turned to Jodie and said, ‘Why don’t we do one for WhereWhitePeopleMeet.com?'” Sam said. “We kind of laughed for a bit and said, ‘Oh my gosh, they would crucify us,’ and I said, ‘No, really, why not?'”
The website also carries a message explaining its founding:
I am sure some of you are wondering about the concept and need for a dating website titled “WhereWhitePeopleMeet.Com.” Our answer to that would be why not? There are various dating websites that promote and cater to just about every origin, race, religion and lifestyle out there. So again, why not “WhereWhitePeopleMeet.Com”?
“We were just capitalizing on that market — that multi-million dollar market,” Jodie added.
In response to those claiming that Where White People Meet is “racist” and “discriminatory,” the website’s also includes this description:
The question naturally arises, can anyone join? That answer is yes, as long as you are at least 18 years of age and you agree to abide by the rules and regulations set forth for all members to follow. We want our dating forum to be simple and inexpensive with the ability to connect like minded people in a non discriminatory fashion.
The site provides this concluding thought:
There are hundreds of dating websites to choose from, so please join ours if it fits your preferences and helps bring your ideal soul mate that much closer. Here at www.wherewhitepeoplemeet.com we believe that all people, regardless of race, creed, color or religion deserve to be happy and that no one should go through life alone.
Follow Kathryn Blackhurst (@kablackhurst) on Twitter