The creator of the online dating website WhereWhitePeopleMeet has been getting some questions about why he and his wife would build such a site. The answer, according to the website’s “About Us” page, is “why not?”
But despite criticisms that the website is inherently racist, Sam Russell, the 53-year-old Utah man who founded the website with his wife Tami, told the Washington Post that the site is not racially motivated in any way. He insisted that it was born of the idea that singletons of “every origin, race, religion and lifestyle” can find someone for them, even white people.
“It’s about equal opportunity,” Russell said. “The last thing in the world I am is racist.”
He compared WhereWhitePeopleMeet to Christian Mingle and Farmers Only as examples of preference-based dating websites. In addition, there’s also Tinder, for mobile-first millennials, and Hinge, for anyone who’s afraid of Tinder, and Grouper, for those who prefer to bring two friends along to blind dates. The League caters to a crop of Ivy League graduates and high-earning young professionals. Grindr is a popular option for gay men; Her bills itself as a dating app for lesbians built by lesbians.
But what seems to have escaped Russell is that white people can already find each other with ease on these apps—and in real life, especially in Russell’s state of Utah, which is 91% white. The country as a whole is 77% white. ”Where White People Meet” could pretty much describe almost every online dating website.
In fact, the online dating game can feel rigged if you’re not white—OKCupid has found that all men, regardless of race or ethnicity, were more likely to rate black women negatively—and those numbers haven’t changed much since 2009.