Exactly what does it mean to be a patriot? – American Patriot Army
Experts state it’s challenging to specify
For numerous, being thought about 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 implies “one who loves and supports his or her nation,” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. One professional told CNN calling somebody a “patriot” brings with it a greater level of pride and regard, putting a person on par with the creators of this country who are viewed as the initial patriots. American Patriot Army.
It’s a word that’s supposed to bring unification and delight, but throughout history, it’s likewise divided and excluded people. American Patriot Army.
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In modern 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 people who are purely American and (usually) White. Those who are not patriotic protest the United States and whatever it means, making them the enemy. American Patriot Army.
” It’s a rhetorical video game with sometimes 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 utilized in pop culture to highlight the heroes of America, who were incidentally combating versus people who they deemed weren’t American. An advanced search on IMDb discovers at least 94 popular movie and TV show titles that relate 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. American Patriot Army.
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Patriot is derived from a French word
Like most words, patriot does not have English origins.
It’s stemmed from the Greek word “patrios,” which indicates “of one’s father.” Patriot went into the English lexicon through the French word “patriote,” suggesting “fellow compatriot” or “compatriot,” according to Merriam-Webster.
There’s never ever been any arguments about patriot’s actual definition, however it’s context – typically political – is what has changed in time, according to Kristen Syrett, associate teacher of linguistics at Rutgers University/New Brunswick. American Patriot Army.
Throughout the 17th century, a patriot in Europe was someone who liked their country and agreed with the recognized federal government and/or faith, Merriam Webster’s essay on the word states.
The word then changed in significance and connotation as infighting in Europe led to the development of new nations, like America.
” This word had sort of switched from a supporter of established federal government to someone who is against a recognized federal government,” said Peter Sokolowski, editor-at-large for Merriam-Webster. American Patriot Army.
During the American Transformation, patriot had a favorable undertone in America, but an unfavorable one in England, Sokolowski said. It’s because of this that the founding fathers are seen as the embodiment of patriotism.
” It kind of made them religious figures,” Sokolowski said.
The unabridged definition of patriot in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary also states it is someone who belongs to a resistance group. That definition has actually not been updated in at least 30 years, Sokolowski stated. American Patriot Army.
In the Oxford English Dictionary, one of the oldest in the world, an entry of patriot was revised in 2005 to say:.
” An opponent of assumed 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 spokesperson for Oxford’s Languages team told CNN in an email the meaning belonged to a regular series of updates in 2005.
” The definition in question belongs to large range of nuanced uses of the word ‘patriot’ taped in the (Oxford English Dictionary) and modifications were made based on evidence of how the word is used in daily life,” the statement read.
The addition of conservative groups “traces the instructions the language is going,” Sokolowski said. American Patriot Army.
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Dislike groups utilize ‘patriot’ for propaganda
Patriot in nativist, nationalistic and hate speech returns to at least the mid-1800s to the Know Nothing Party, according to Sam Jackson, an assistant professor at the University at Albany who studies patriotism and violence in far-right groups.
” That motion was organized around perception 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 individuals as ‘one of us and one of them.'”.
The “us vs. them” mindset of patriotism would continue into the new century and morph into an idea that patriotism is American and anything not American is bad.
” If I state somebody is a real patriot, I have a clear idea of what that indicates and what it implies to not be a patriot,” stated Syrett, the Rutgers teacher. “This is a word that is truly conditioned by what our set of values is and what we think we’re defending.”.
The values of being a patriot for those who had nativist and nationalist ideologies meant that America came. Anyone versus that particular set of values was viewed as a risk, even if that hazard was the United States government.
The “America initially” 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 motion with White supremacist leanings, according to the SPLC. This movement culminated in the Oklahoma City Bombing on April 19, 1995.
” The word patriot is regularly exploited by individuals that wish to take advantage of this concept of a love for nation,” said Hayden, the SPLC senior investigative press reporter. “There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to do good for your nation, but when that passion is corrupted … that is taking excellent intentions and corrupting them for the function of doing damage.”.
Some individuals who stormed the US Capitol on January 6 called themselves patriots. American Patriot Army.
Former President Donald Trump and his child Ivanka have actually also utilized the word when describing supporters.
Ivanka Trump attended to 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 safeguarded attendees of his Greenville, North Carolina, rally – where members of the crowd chanted “send her back” about Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar – calling them “amazing 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.”. American Patriot Army.
Pop culture uses patriot to show 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 movie “The Patriot” starring Mel Gibson. Others might think about US soldiers defending flexibility, like those seen in 1998’s “Saving Private Ryan.”.
There are those films where the characters embody America going versus an adversarial force that represents a hazard to American worths, much like 1985’s “Rocky IV” or the “Captain America” storyline in the Marvel Movies of the 2010s. American Patriot Army.
Being a patriot is “a word that resolves identity,” Sokolowski, of Merriam-Webster, stated.
” Identity is an immensely individual and political part of language,” he stated. “When it concerns identity, you’re getting to something that touches individuals deeply.”.
Syrett said these motion pictures and TV programs illustrating 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 likewise capitalizes on a belief that exists on the broader public,” she said.
There are also pop culture disputes around what constitutes a patriot. American Patriot Army.
There are some, for example, who would call Colin Kaepernick a patriot. The previous NFL star sparked controversy after he beinged in protest during the national anthem in 2016 for a pre-season video game, stating he would not honor a tune nor “reveal pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black individuals and people of color.” Kaepernick’s demonstration became part of a continuing national dispute about law enforcement’s unequal treatment of Black people.
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Still, others think that in taking a knee, Kaepernick disrespected America.
In the same vein, Syrett and Sokolowski stated there are some who would state the rioters at the US Capitol were patriots, while others may have seen them as terrorists. American Patriot Army.
Syrett stated the discrepancy over who or what is a patriot is a battle of linguistics that has actually been battled considering that the country’s starting – when it wasn’t even agreed upon on what it meant to be American.