Yes, I believe there are. I believe that about a quarter of non-black Americans do not like black people and that most of these people vote Republican.
I think a significant reason for the amount of racist vitriol online is that any comments remotely smacking of racism is such a huge social sin. Saying anything racist is about the worst thing you can say in middle-class polite society.
“Lock this monkey up in a cage next to Bubba. Go get the other monkeys in his gang and lock them up as well.”
“Blacks are far too lazy and co-dependent on whites to ever change — if they did who’d pay for their babies and food?”
“If it happened on Mars, I’d say he was a Martian. But it happened in Logan Square, so I said he was an illegal. Wanna bet?”
Who would write something like this? Some of our faithful, foul-mouthed readers, that’s who.
One of my jobs as a Web editor at the Sun-Times is to moderate the reader comments on every article — and man is it a messy job. Are there really that many racist people out there? Would they really say such appalling things in everyday conversation?