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The emergence of the website WhereWhitePeopleMeet.com (yes, really) has sparked debate after billboards appeared in Utah, a state which has a 91 per cent white population.
The site offers a platform for white people to meet other white people and does not allow an option to search for same-sex relationships.
The initiative has been dubbed racist and "embarrassing" by Utah locals. The emotive response to the campaign isn't surprising given the state's chequered history with civil rights, and the fact that interracial marriages were illegal in Utah until 1953.
But its founder Sam Russell has sought to quash any suggestions that he's a racist by claiming he once dated a black woman.
The 53-year-old former car salesman (pictured) told the Washington Post:
It’s about equal opportunity. 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.'
Russell has responded to criticism on Twitter writing: "We created our site as an alternative to other websites that cater to any race, creed, or religion. Such as @BlackPeopleMeet."
In response to accusations of racism, the site now claims: