HOUSTON — No doubt racism is alive and well in 2016. But Twitter trash-talk has determined the national hot spots for it, and Texans, you're not gonna like it.
Abodo, an apartment-finding site, scanned through 12 million tweets around the country and found the places where folks posted the most racist stuff. West Virginia, a state that's 93 percent white, topped the list for using the n-word.
For overall derogatory language in tweets (that's homophobic, racist and sexist slurs), Louisiana took the top spot with Nevada and Texas following closely behind.
Houstonian Chloe Trammel says she's not surprised. She sees it all the time when scrolling through her Twitter feed.
"Oh God! Do people still think like this?" she asked herself. "Why do people feel comfortable saying these things?"
College student Evan Coleman said, "People who are racist just have a louder voice. And they want everyone to know that for some reason and can't tolerate different opinions."
But are people too sensitive when it comes to race? Look at Pepe the Frog. He was a pretty innocent little weed-smokin' meme. His famous catchphrase: "Feels good, man."
But the Anti-Defamation League just labeled him a symbol of hate. Why? Because the Alt-Right (extremists like white supremacists and anti-Semites) grabbed him and went nuts. They turned him into all sorts of racists memes against blacks, Jews, Muslims — you name it!
Andrea Raul finds using a cartoon character particularly offensive. "People are more likely to click on it, if they see it's Pepe the Frog rather than just an offense
Santi Tellez, a student from Mexico, is not quite as bothered.
"I feel like it's not that big of a deal because any cartoon character could be turned into a racist symbol," Tellez said.
Donald Trump got pulled into this Pepe mess last year when he re-tweeted someone's Pepe-fied cartoon image of himself. You think he knew the implications? (Let's hope not.)
Coleman said fighting online racism is pretty easy.
"If it really bothers you, just don't go on social media."
Coleman did just that, closing down her Twitter account, and she's never looked back.
"Scrolling past it isn't enough anymore," Trammel said. "We have to say, 'That's not right and that can't happen.' And say that as a person and not just an avatar."
In the immortal words of the late Rodney King, when it comes to racism, "Can we... can we all get along?"