Liberal writer Jonathan Chait wrote an extended analogy as a blog post today, and it’s unambiguous that the analogy is this: Conservative critics today are to President Obama as slaveholders were to slaves who dared speak their mind.
There’s really no other way to understand the structure of this article. The pictures alternate between slave Solomon Northup and Obama. The headline is “12 Years a Slave and the Obama Era.” Chait wrote, “To identify ’12 Years a Slave’ as merely a story about slavery is to miss what makes race the furious and often pathological subtext of American politics in the Obama era.”
Chait writes that “the social system embedded in slavery” is one “in which the most unforgivable crime was for an African-American to presume himself an equal to — or, heaven forbid, better than — a white person.” Chait then slides immediately to quoting conservative writer Quin Hillyer’s knock on Obama: