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Dating Website's Billboard Causes Racial Controversy

Do you think racial sensitivity has gone too far in America? Your response will determine whether you find this billboard offensive or not.

Believe it or not this billboard has caused all kinds of controversy since it was spotted along the 201 freeway in Utah and posted online, with people claiming it's reminiscent of segregationist attitudes.

But as it turns out Sam Russell, founder of Where White People Meet, says his dating website isn't racially insensitive at all, claiming he's not a racist because he "dated a black woman once".

Whether you think Sam's dating site is racist or not consider this- there are all kinds of racially specific dating sites out there, including Black People Meet, JDate and the racially harmonious BlackWhitePeopleMeet.

-Via Washington Post

Newest 5
Newest 5 Comments

No, I see it as a regulated freedom of speech situation. Remember, there are two "persons" here whose rights must be protected, and whose interests are at odds with one another. Persons' rights, not corporations rights. I'll get to the corporation issue in a bit.

On the one hand, the person who wants to be racist and make a racist website has a right to free speech, especially on the internet.

On the other hand, the persons who may have been victims of this breed of injustice have a right to not have racism shoved in their face on their morning commute.

So, since any single website is entirely avoidable, but a billboard might be unavoidable for certain individuals, the website owner has a right to keep their website, but the persons who feel pain at the sight of such a billboard have a right to make their commute to work without seeing it or having to drive a different, possibly more costly, route.

It is easy to see the pain on one side of this issue and focus entirely on trying to create an idealistic world where that person never accidentally feels pain again, but that can only happen in an ideal world, or under a government that crushes all freedom of expression. or a country that is entirely populated by robots.

In the real world, where we want to have freedom of expression but still offer some protection from pain, we have to find a balance between protecting the rights of both of these persons.

In terms of corporation vs person, it seems you're calling the city a corporation here, which is very odd to me, but I'll run with that notion if that is your reasoning. The city only has the right of regulation to protect people, it isn't actually allowed any opinion on the matter. It can't be offended, or shouldn't be, since, as a whole, it is required to be impartial as a law creator/enforcer. It can only act to protect person's who fall under their jurisdiction.

So, in this case, I can understand the city creating a law that would protect the persons who feel pain at the site of such a billboard. As far as the city is concerned, the matter ends there: they have protected persons under their jurisdiction.

The country (a much larger corporation, by your logic), should also judge the situation impartially, and determine that the city has a right to do what it did, but that the person who created the website has a right to express their opinion on that website.
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So the city has a right to find it offensive, but not a person who may be a victim of this sort of prejudice? Is this an offshoot of the "corporations have more human rights than people do" rule?
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I find it more "ew, seriously dude?" than brazenly offensive. But I also find it pointless. I've never been to a dating website, but I assume every one of them has some kind of filtering mechanism? Unlike this guy? (NAILED IT! UP TOP!)
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I see no issue with the site existing. People should be free to do whatever racist or segragationist things they want to do on their own websites.

I could see an argument being made that the city this appears in could decide that, for the appearance/image of their city, they don't want the billboard itself up, but that is up to them, and doesn't affect the rights of the individual to do whatever thing they want to do on their own website.

TLDR: If the city wants the billboard taken down to preserve their image, I agree. If someone wants the site taken down because it offends them, I disagree.
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