Open Letter To Chicken Wing Restaurants In Western New York
Before you call me a “snowflake,” I would encourage you to at least attempt to have empathy for someone sharing a perspective in which they have lost someone to suicide.
Buffalo loves our wings. We really do. There is truly no other place for chicken wings than right here in Western New York.
And that’s why we have to be the precedent.
When we go to your restaurant to order chicken wings, we have a lot of options how we want our chicken wings served. And we’re grateful for that – honestly.
But it’s 2022 and one of your sauces needs to go…or at least, go by a different name.
Typically, you offer sauces, such as:
CAJUN-HONEY BUTTER BBQ
HONEY BUTTER BBQ
HOT & SPICY BBQ
Notice that I highlighted “suicidal.”
The word itself is so heavy that it’s comparable to the r-word in that way, though not quite the same.
What makes that word so heavy is yes, obviously the other meaning of the word, but also in a world where the majority of people are open and comfortable talking about mental health, we (and our children know) that suicide is real. It has taken lives of those close to us and those we never got to meet.
So when you see the word “suicidal” on a menu, forgive me if I flinch.
It’s very old school and it’s time to change it.
I know it’s a sauce that has been around for years, and you are probably thinking “I’ve called it suicidal since I was born. Why is this such a big deal?” but wake up. It is 2022, ok? If this society can use its pent-up rage to cancel someone over a tweet they posted back in 2013, then why is nobody worried about this?
On average, there is one suicide every 11.5 minutes in the United States. That is about, on average, 125 people who die every day by their own hand.
That is soul crushing.
Instead of naming foods after an untimely death and seemingly “poking fun” at someone’s mental health, maybe we should rename the sauce to something more appropriate…like “SuperCharged.”
The Evening Tribune wrote about how one restaurant, the Quaker Steak & Luke Restaurant in Pennsylvania, changed the name of their sauce back in 2008 after serving a couple who lost a child to suicide. The restaurant heard those concerns, and they made the executive decision to change the sauce name to “SuperCharged.”
The fact that the name “suicidal” is plastered under your sauce menus just demonstrates how casually we regard suicide and its seriousness in our culture, and it’s time to change that.
Honor survivors and let’s respect those we have lost by changing the sauce name to something more appropriate.