The Witches Are Coming by Lindy West Read Online (FREE)
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Introduction: They Let You Do It
Not long ago, my husband was at a bar in Chicago. A friend had told him to check out this particular bar because it’s a cool dive run by queer people of color, with dancing and cheap drinks and a good vibe. So he was sitting there, having a beer, and after a while a guy came in and sat down next to him. White guy, late forties. Polo shirt. Mustache probably. Khaki shorts. Standard random white guy.
The guy—his name was Larry or Barry or something, so for the purposes of this story let’s call him LarryBarry—struck up a conversation with my husband, asked him if he was having fun. My husband said, “Yeah, this is a fun bar! People are dancing. It’s cool.” And the guy got a real sad look on his face and said, “Yeah, this is one of my favorite songs. I wish I was dancing right now.” So naturally my husband asked, “Well, why don’t you go dance?”
And LarryBarry said, “I’M NOT ALLOWED TO DANCE.”
My husband was confused. There did not seem to be any posted restrictions on who was or was not allowed to dance. Other people were dancing. So he inquired, “LarryBarry, why are you not allowed to dance?”
And then LarryBarry told his tale:
“Well, two nights ago, I came to this bar, because it’s the closest bar to my house, and I come here all the time. And they were having a dance night, and I love to dance. So I went out on the dance floor, and there were some people out there dancing, so I just started dancing with this girl, and she said, ‘I don’t really want to dance with you,’ and then her friend got all weird about it. So now I guess I’m not allowed to dance.”
Can you believe that? He’s not allowed to dance!
This is what it’s come to, ladies and gentlemen. This is what the PC police have done to us. It’s as though the PC police don’t even care how much LarryBarry likes that song! Or how important it is that he continue his ongoing research into the worst ways to move the human body!
Well, sorry if I don’t want to live in a world where straight white men in their forties with mustaches can’t go to the queer POC dance night and nonconsensually grind on lesbians they don’t know without people getting weird about it! Last time I checked, this was America!
My husband said kindly, “LarryBarry, I’m pretty sure if you just go out there and dance and don’t touch anyone, you’ll be fine.”
And LarryBarry thought, “Hmm, don’t touch anyone? What’s that?” But he decided to go for it, and as he got up from the bar he looked my husband in the eyes and said, man to man, “If something goes wrong out there, will you back me up?”