MSNBC’s Brian Williams, McClatchy reporter Anita Kumar, former CIA chief of staff Jeremy Bash, and The Wall Street Journal’s White House correspondent, Eli Stokols, all apparently think the words “sovereign” and “sovereignty” are some kind of racist, isolationist dog whistles.
During a discussion of President Donald Trump’s speech at the U.N. General Assembly, Williams and his guests did their utmost to attribute a nefarious meaning to Trump’s use of the word “sovereign.”
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Stokols asserted that Trump’s “talk about self-interest of these sovereign nations as an impetus for international collaboration” is hypocritical. “He forgets that the people who are sort of abiding by this theory of self-interest … [of] nation states doing what’s in their own self-interest — those are all the countries that he did call out by name — Maduro in Venezuela, Assad, Kim Jong-Un, so there’s a lot of incoherence in the speech,” he claimed. “There’s a lot of incoherence in the speech.”
It is uncertain how Stokols believes starving one’s own people through an increasingly authoritarian brand of socialism, as Maduro has done in Venezuela, is in that nation’s best interest.
Williams attempted to tie the idea of national sovereignty to racism.
“Anita, back to this use of the word ‘sovereign,’ and ‘sovereignty.’ Did you hear a buzz word or dog whistle in his repeated use of that word?” Williams asked Kumar.
“We knew he was going to talk a little bit about that because they had given us a little bit of a preview … so we were sort of expecting this theme, but it was just way more,” Kumar responded. “It was just over the top. It caused me to go back through and count how many times, and so he used that word ‘sovereign’ or ‘sovereignty’ 21 times — it was definitely the word. Everyone took ‘Rocket Man,’ but I took ‘sovereignty.’ It just means … ‘America First,’ we’re going to go it alone.”