There’s something in the woodpile

What if you were a promising 27 year-old driver and suffered the embarrassment and shame of having your main sponsor dump you on the cusp of your inaugural NASCAR-Series race for use of the phrase “n****r in the woodpile”.

What if the phrase never passed your lips, in fact was uttered 35 years ago, 8 years before you were born???

That’s what happened these last few days in the case of Conor Daly whose father, affable Irishman Derek Daly, used the unfortunate phrase, common in the UK and Britain’s former colonies at the time, when interviewed shortly after his arrival to race in the USA in 1983. Quote:

“I was asked about my situation with my new American team. I responded by explaining that I was a foreign driver now in America, driving for an American team, with an American crew, and with an American sponsor ? and that if things did not go well, the only ?n***** in the wood pile? would be me. At the time, I meant that I, as the new foreigner on the team, would shoulder the blame and I would be the scapegoat.? End quote.

So Derek’s words were prophetic, he is now the scapegoat for the gutless corporates and easily-offended race-baiting shills of the American media ghetto; sacked from his commentary job on TV, the radio announcer who recalled the comment made by Derek in an off-air conversation forced into retirement, and his son’s sponsorship pulled at a crucial moment of his career.

Forget what you may have heard about punishments proportional to crimes, forget about the sins of fathers not visiting sons, forget about the past being the past, forget about context.

Welcome, instead, to the 21st century where one single word used in the previous century can come back to haunt and hurt you. With insufferable glee.