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Sam Russell, the 53-year-old man who, with his wife, set up the online dating site, says that he isn’t racist.

Russell insisted that he set up the website when he saw how many Black People Meet ads there were on daytime television and realized that he and his wife might be able to create a good pre-retirement business by doing the same thing for white people.

“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.’”

An early version of the site has been online since August, though the official version debuted last week, along with a controversial billboard featuring a white couple.

Still, Russell insisted that the site is “not racially motivated in any way,” pointing out that anyone over age 18 can join and that it could be an option for those of other races who have preferences for white partners. “If you’re a black man who prefers to date white women, this might be a good option,” he said.

Russell said that he knew he would face backlash once the site went online, but he went ahead and blazed forward with his business.

“I knew there was some potential for backlash, but I’m not going to dodge it,” he said. “No one who knows me would ever call me a racist.”

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