The woke police have come for Milk Bar’s Crack Pie
Relax, woke-watchers of New York City! You may sleep more easily tonight. “Crack Pie” is now “Milk Bar Pie.”
No longer will the very sound of the Milk Bar chain’s most popular dessert cast you — and all 8.5 million New Yorkers — back to the horrific time when murderous drug dealers ruled the streets. (Never mind that many of our fellow citizens currently face true economic, social and educational hardships.)
Milk Bar founder Christina Tosi, who’s been selling the pies since 2008, announced Tuesday that “the old name was getting in the way of letting the gooey, buttery slice bring happiness — my only goal in creating the thing in the first place.”
Tosi caved to a handful of media grumps who found no humor in a sweet-and-sludgy treat named for an addictive substance that disproportionately impacted communities of color.
‘The old name was getting in the way of letting the gooey, buttery slice bring happiness.’
Now, it was not a good idea to name a dessert after a drug that pushed the city into its deadliest year. The city saw 2,245 homicides in 1990 — most of the victims black and Latino — compared with 289 in 2018. But the “joke” referred only to crack’s diabolically addictive quality, which the pie supposedly shared.
I never got the mania for Tosi’s urbanized take on St. Louis-style butter cake by any name. Just because drugs destroy mind and soul doesn’t mean dessert should also ruin our arteries. But that’s not the point.
Was any Milk Bar ever picketed or boycotted by black people or poor people over the Crack Pie, which has only been available for 11 years at multiple locations and widely celebrated in books and on TV? No. The people supposedly insulted over it obviously have a sense of proportion, and humor, unknown to well-fed white food writers.
Crack is mercifully all but vanquished, but the language police are just getting started.
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