What exactly does it mean to be a patriot? – 2019 American Patriot Class B
Professionals state it’s hard to define
For many, being considered a patriot is as American as it gets.
Of the countless words in the English language, the word “patriot” has actually long instilled a sense of pride in Americans. By definition, it indicates “one who loves and supports his/her country,” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. One expert informed CNN calling someone a “patriot” brings with it a greater level of pride and respect, putting an individual on par with the founders of this country who are viewed as the initial patriots. 2019 American Patriot Class B.
It’s a word that’s supposed to bring unification and delight, but throughout history, it’s likewise divided and omitted people. 2019 American Patriot Class B.
2019 American Patriot Class B
In contemporary times, conspiracy theorists and extremists – consisting of some members of the groups who participated in the Capitol riots on January 6 – have latched on to the word “patriot” as a method to describe individuals who are simply American and (typically) White. Those who are not patriotic are against the US and everything it means, making them the enemy. 2019 American Patriot Class B.
” It’s a rhetorical game with sometimes life and death repercussions,” said Michael Edison Hayden, senior investigative press reporter and spokesperson for the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), an Alabama-based non-profit that tracks dislike groups and their activities.
At the same time, the word is still used in pop culture to highlight the heroes of America, who were by the way battling versus people who they deemed weren’t American. An advanced search on IMDb finds at least 94 popular motion picture and TV show titles that are related to “patriot” or “patriotism.”.
So what makes “patriots” such a unifying, yet dissentious word at the same time? Here’s a take a look at the history of it and its context. 2019 American Patriot Class B.
2019 American Patriot Class B
Patriot is stemmed from a French word
Like the majority of words, patriot does not have English origins.
It’s originated from the Greek word “patrios,” which indicates “of one’s dad.” Patriot got in the English lexicon through the French word “patriote,” meaning “fellow compatriot” or “compatriot,” according to Merriam-Webster.
There’s never been any arguments about patriot’s literal definition, but it’s context – typically political – is what has altered gradually, according to Kristen Syrett, associate professor of linguistics at Rutgers University/New Brunswick. 2019 American Patriot Class B.
Throughout the 17th century, a patriot in Europe was somebody who loved their country and agreed with the recognized government and/or faith, Merriam Webster’s essay on the word states.
The word then changed in significance and undertone as infighting in Europe resulted in the development of new nations, like America.
” This word had actually kind of changed from an advocate of recognized government to somebody who is against a recognized government,” stated Peter Sokolowski, editor-at-large for Merriam-Webster. 2019 American Patriot Class B.
During the American Revolution, patriot had a positive undertone in America, but a negative one in England, Sokolowski said. It’s because of this that the founding fathers are viewed as the embodiment of patriotism.
” It kind of made them religious figures,” Sokolowski stated.
The unabridged definition of patriot in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary likewise says it is someone who belongs to a resistance group. That definition has not been upgraded in at least thirty years, Sokolowski stated. 2019 American Patriot Class B.
In the Oxford English Dictionary, one of the oldest on the planet, an entry of patriot was modified in 2005 to say:.
” An opponent of presumed intervention by federal government in the affairs of people, esp. with respect to weapon and tax laws. Regularly in the names of right-wing libertarian political and militia groups.”.
A spokesperson for Oxford’s Languages team told CNN in an e-mail the definition was part of a routine series of updates in 2005.
” The meaning in question belongs to vast array of nuanced uses of the word ‘patriot’ recorded in the (Oxford English Dictionary) and modifications were made based upon evidence of how the word is utilized in everyday life,” the statement checked out.
The addition of right-wing groups “traces the direction the language is going,” Sokolowski stated. 2019 American Patriot Class B.
2019 American Patriot Class B
Hate groups use ‘patriot’ for propaganda
Patriot in nativist, nationalistic and dislike speech returns to at least the mid-1800s to the Know Nothing Party, according to Sam Jackson, an assistant teacher at the University at Albany who studies patriotism and violence in reactionary groups.
” That movement was organized around understanding that external impacts – like non-White Europeans and others – were a hazard to American worths,” Jackson said. “By the 1850s, we’re seeing language of patriotism and symbols being utilized in political methods and to mark people as ‘one of us and one of them.'”.
The “us vs. them” attitude of patriotism would continue into the new century and change into a concept that patriotism is American and anything not American is bad.
” If I say someone is a true patriot, I have a clear idea of what that means and what it means to not be a patriot,” stated Syrett, the Rutgers teacher. “This is a word that is actually conditioned by what our set of values is and what we believe we’re defending.”.
The worths of being a patriot for those who had nativist and nationalist ideologies indicated that America came first and foremost. Anybody versus that specific set of values was viewed as a threat, even if that risk was the US federal government.
The “America first” conditions set the tone for the late 1980s and 90s when conspiracy theorists start forming what is referred to as the Patriot Movement, an anti-government movement with White supremacist leanings, according to the SPLC. This movement culminated in the Oklahoma City Bombing on April 19, 1995.
” The word patriot is frequently made use of by people that want to benefit from this concept of a love for country,” said Hayden, the SPLC senior investigative reporter. “There is nothing incorrect with wanting to do good for your country, but when that passion is corrupted … that is taking good objectives and damaging them for the function of doing harm.”.
Some individuals who stormed the US Capitol on January 6 called themselves patriots. 2019 American Patriot Class B.
Former President Donald Trump and his child Ivanka have also utilized the word when referring to supporters.
Ivanka Trump attended to the rioters as “American Patriots” in tweet from January 6 that she later on erased.
Trump likewise called the rioters “excellent patriots” in a tweet on January 6. In July 2019, Trump safeguarded guests of his Greenville, North Carolina, rally – where members of the crowd shouted “send her back” about Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar – calling them “incredible patriots.”.
According to Jackson, the University at Albany professor, “When you state somebody is a patriot, you’re stating there’s some goodness in them. It validates them.”. 2019 American Patriot Class B.
Popular culture uses patriot to show America.
In pop culture, patriot can bring forth lots of images.
For some it could be the founding fathers or the generation around the American Revolution, like in the 2000 film “The Patriot” starring Mel Gibson. Others may think of United States soldiers defending flexibility, like those seen in 1998’s “Conserving Private Ryan.”.
Then there are those motion pictures where the characters embody America going against an adversarial force that represents a hazard to American values, just like 1985’s “Rocky IV” or the “Captain America” storyline in the Marvel Movies of the 2010s. 2019 American Patriot Class B.
Being a patriot is “a word that resolves identity,” Sokolowski, of Merriam-Webster, said.
” Identity is a tremendously personal and political part of language,” he said. “When it pertains to identity, you’re getting to something that touches individuals deeply.”.
Syrett said these films and television shows portraying patriotism are a reflection of the times and reveal there is an audience for such material.
” Pop culture not just encourages a change in word meaning however it also takes advantage of a sentiment that is there on the wider public,” she stated.
There are also pop culture disagreements around what constitutes a patriot. 2019 American Patriot Class B.
There are some, for example, who would call Colin Kaepernick a patriot. The previous NFL star stimulated debate after he sat in demonstration throughout the nationwide anthem in 2016 for a pre-season video game, saying he would not honor a song nor “reveal pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black individuals and individuals of color.” Kaepernick’s protest belonged to a continuing national argument about police’s unequal treatment of Black individuals.
2019 American Patriot Class B
Still, others think that in taking a knee, Kaepernick disrespected America.
In the very same vein, Syrett and Sokolowski stated there are some who would state the rioters at the United States Capitol were patriots, while others may have seen them as terrorists. 2019 American Patriot Class B.
Syrett said the disparity over who or what is a patriot is a battle of linguistics that has been fought given that the country’s founding – when it wasn’t even agreed upon on what it implied to be American.