American Civil Liberties Union And The Patriot Act

American Civil Liberties Union And The Patriot Act

American Civil Liberties Union And The Patriot ActWhat exactly does it mean to be a patriot? – American Civil Liberties Union And The Patriot Act

Experts state it’s hard to define

For numerous, being thought about a patriot is as American as it gets.

Of the millions of words in the English language, the word “patriot” has long instilled a sense of pride in Americans. By definition, it indicates “one who enjoys and supports his or her country,” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. One professional informed CNN calling somebody a “patriot” brings with it a higher level of pride and regard, putting an individual on par with the founders of this country who are seen as the original patriots. American Civil Liberties Union And The Patriot Act.
It’s a word that’s supposed to bring unification and joy, however throughout history, it’s likewise divided and excluded people. American Civil Liberties Union And The Patriot Act.

American Civil Liberties Union And The Patriot Act

In modern-day times, conspiracy theorists and extremists – consisting of some members of the groups who took part in the Capitol riots on January 6 – have latched on to the word “patriot” as a method to describe people who are purely American and (typically) White. Those who are not patriotic are against the United States and whatever it represents, making them the opponent. American Civil Liberties Union And The Patriot Act.

” It’s a rhetorical video game with often life and death effects,” stated Michael Edison Hayden, senior investigative reporter and spokesman for the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), an Alabama-based non-profit that tracks hate groups and their activities.

At the same time, the word is still used in pop culture to illustrate the heroes of America, who were incidentally combating versus people who they deemed weren’t American. An innovative search on IMDb finds a minimum of 94 popular film and television reveal titles that belong to “patriot” or “patriotism.”.

So what makes “patriots” such a unifying, yet divisive word at the same time? Here’s a take a look at the history of it and its context. American Civil Liberties Union And The Patriot Act.

American Civil Liberties Union And The Patriot Act

American Civil Liberties Union And The Patriot Act

Patriot is derived from a French word
Like the majority of words, patriot does not have English origins.
It’s stemmed from the Greek word “patrios,” which implies “of one’s dad.” Patriot entered the English lexicon through the French word “patriote,” meaning “fellow countryman” or “compatriot,” according to Merriam-Webster.

There’s never been any arguments about patriot’s literal definition, however it’s context – generally political – is what has actually altered gradually, according to Kristen Syrett, associate teacher of linguistics at Rutgers University/New Brunswick. American Civil Liberties Union And The Patriot Act.

American Civil Liberties Union And The Patriot Act

During the 17th century, a patriot in Europe was somebody who liked their country and agreed with the recognized government and/or religious beliefs, Merriam Webster’s essay on the word states.
The word then changed in meaning and connotation as infighting in Europe resulted in the development of new nations, like America.

” This word had actually type of changed from a fan of established federal government to somebody who is against an established federal government,” said Peter Sokolowski, editor-at-large for Merriam-Webster. American Civil Liberties Union And The Patriot Act.

During the American Revolution, patriot had a positive undertone in America, but a negative one in England, Sokolowski stated. It’s because of this that the founding fathers are seen as the epitome of patriotism.
” It type of made them religious figures,” Sokolowski stated.

 

The unabridged meaning of patriot in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary likewise says it is someone who belongs to a resistance group. That meaning has not been updated in at least thirty years, Sokolowski stated. American Civil Liberties Union And The Patriot Act.

In the Oxford English Dictionary, among the earliest in the world, an entry of patriot was modified in 2005 to say:.
” An opponent of presumed intervention by federal government in the affairs of individuals, esp. with respect to gun and tax laws. Regularly in the names of right-wing libertarian political and militia groups.”.
A representative for Oxford’s Languages team informed CNN in an e-mail the meaning was part of a regular series of updates in 2005.

” The definition in question is part of wide range of nuanced uses of the word ‘patriot’ recorded in the (Oxford English Dictionary) and changes were made based upon evidence of how the word is utilized in everyday life,” the statement read.
The addition of conservative groups “traces the direction the language is going,” Sokolowski stated. American Civil Liberties Union And The Patriot Act.

American Civil Liberties Union And The Patriot Act

Dislike groups utilize ‘patriot’ for propaganda
Patriot in nativist, nationalistic and dislike speech goes back to at least the mid-1800s to the Know Nothing Celebration, according to Sam Jackson, an assistant teacher at the University at Albany who studies patriotism and violence in reactionary groups.

” That motion was arranged around understanding that external impacts – like non-White Europeans and others – were a threat to American values,” Jackson said. “By the 1850s, we’re seeing language of patriotism and symbols being utilized in political ways and to mark people as ‘among us and among them.'”.

The “us vs. them” attitude of patriotism would continue into the new century and morph into a concept that patriotism is American and anything not American is bad.

 

” If I say somebody is a true patriot, I have a clear idea of what that means and what it implies to not be a patriot,” stated Syrett, the Rutgers professor. “This is a word that is actually conditioned by what our set of values is and what we believe we’re fighting for.”.
The values of being a patriot for those who had nativist and nationalist ideologies suggested that America preceded and foremost. Anyone against that particular set of values was viewed as a risk, even if that risk was the United States federal government.

The “America initially” conditions set the tone for the late 1980s and 90s when conspiracy theorists start forming what is known as the Patriot Motion, an anti-government movement with White supremacist leanings, according to the SPLC. This motion culminated in the Oklahoma City Bombing on April 19, 1995.

” The word patriot is regularly made use of by people that wish to benefit from this idea of a love for nation,” stated Hayden, the SPLC senior investigative reporter. “There is absolutely nothing incorrect with wanting to do good for your country, however when that enthusiasm is damaged … that is taking excellent intents and corrupting them for the function of doing harm.”.
Some individuals who stormed the US Capitol on January 6 called themselves patriots. American Civil Liberties Union And The Patriot Act.

American Civil Liberties Union And The Patriot Act

Former President Donald Trump and his child Ivanka have actually also utilized the word when referring to fans.
Ivanka Trump dealt with the rioters as “American Patriots” in tweet from January 6 that she later deleted.

Trump also called the rioters “excellent patriots” in a tweet on January 6. In July 2019, Trump protected participants 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 saying there’s some goodness in them. It validates them.”. American Civil Liberties Union And The Patriot Act.

 

Popular culture uses patriot to illustrate America.
In pop culture, patriot can come up with 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 might think about United States soldiers fighting for flexibility, like those seen in 1998’s “Saving Private Ryan.”.
Then there are those motion pictures where the characters embody America breaking an adversarial force that represents a hazard to American values, much like 1985’s “Rocky IV” or the “Captain America” storyline in the Marvel Movies of the 2010s. American Civil Liberties Union And The Patriot Act.

American Civil Liberties Union And The Patriot Act

Being a patriot is “a word that resolves identity,” Sokolowski, of Merriam-Webster, said.
” Identity is a tremendously individual and political part of language,” he said. “When it concerns identity, you’re getting to something that touches individuals deeply.”.

Syrett stated these films and television programs depicting patriotism are a reflection of the times and show there is an audience for such content.

” Popular culture not only motivates a change in word meaning however it likewise takes advantage of a belief that exists on the wider public,” she said.
There are also pop culture arguments around what constitutes a patriot. American Civil Liberties Union And The Patriot Act.

 

There are some, for instance, who would call Colin Kaepernick a patriot. The previous NFL star stimulated debate after he sat in demonstration during the national anthem in 2016 for a pre-season video game, saying he would not honor a song nor “reveal pride in a flag for a nation that oppresses black individuals and individuals of color.” Kaepernick’s demonstration became part of a continuing national debate about police’s unequal treatment of Black people.

American Civil Liberties Union And The Patriot Act

Still, others believe that in taking a knee, Kaepernick disrespected America.
In the exact same vein, Syrett and Sokolowski stated there are some who would state the rioters at the US Capitol were patriots, while others might have seen them as terrorists. American Civil Liberties Union And The Patriot Act.

Syrett said the disparity over who or what is a patriot is a battle of linguistics that has actually been combated given that the nation’s starting – when it wasn’t even agreed upon on what it suggested to be American.

American Civil Liberties Union And The Patriot Act

 

 

 

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