What if I wrote this:
"For me as a white man, it's really nice to just go out with other white men sometimes," ... "I have to do so much less translation. When you're white around black people, you have to explain every little thing, even with people who are perfectly nice and well-meaning."
My presumption would be that this would be treated as evil and racist. But what was actually written was this, which by its reception by Kevin Drum and others is apparently perfectly OK
"For me as a black woman, it's really nice to just go out with other black women sometimes," said Sabrina Stevens, an activist and progressive strategist. "I have to do so much less translation. When you're black around white people, you have to explain every little thing, even with people who are perfectly nice and well-meaning."
The answer I generally get for treating racism asymmetrically (e.g. almost anything a white person says about blacks is racist, but nothing a black person says about whites is racist) is that its all about privilege and power imbalances. But the author, at least in this passage, is not talking about privilege and power imbalances. She is merely talking about differences in outlook and perspective, which are presumably symmetric. She is more relaxed around similar people, which is likely true of many of us.
Drum, fortunately, seems to get the point about safe spaces, that there is a huge difference between people privately creating spaces populated only by folks of their own selection (ie freedom of assembly) and public institutions (such as universities) enforcing segregated groups and spaces, particularly spaces meant to avoid contact with ideas an an institution dedicated to spreading ideas. The first strikes me as fine, the second as generally unacceptable. Of course women have spent the last 30 years of trying to purge private spaces where men choose to hang out solely with other men, so they shouldn't be surprised if they get a teensy bit of push back when they try to create such spaces for themselves.