I think one of the reasons white fans of stranger things are so reluctant to call billy a racist is because simply put they cling to the idea that you must vocally pronounce “I hate n*****s” in order to be a racist. Billy zeroes in on Lucas being “one of those people” you don’t want to hang around with, without expressing why. He knows literally nothing about Lucas. He doesn’t seem to have hang ups with anyone else in this same way but Lucas. But somehow he’s not a racist? It is honestly borne of their own reluctance to examine their own biases and the ways in which they perpetuate racism.
These are the people who say they are colorblind but clutch their purses and lock their doors when a Black man walks by. These are the people who automatically associate Black trends and styles as “ghetto” and “unprofessional” but applaud white people as style icons when they latch onto the same Black trends or have matted hair that they try to pass off as dreadlocks