Just what does it indicate to be a patriot? – American Patriot Award
Specialists state it’s not easy to define
For numerous, being considered 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 means “one who enjoys and supports his/her country,” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. One specialist told CNN calling somebody a “patriot” brings with it a higher level of pride and regard, putting a person on par with the creators of this nation who are seen as the original patriots. American Patriot Award.
It’s a word that’s supposed to bring unification and happiness, however throughout history, it’s also divided and excluded individuals. American Patriot Award.
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In modern 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 way to describe individuals who are purely American and (usually) White. Those who are not patriotic protest the US and everything it stands for, making them the opponent. American Patriot Award.
” It’s a rhetorical game with in some cases life and death effects,” stated Michael Edison Hayden, senior investigative reporter and spokesperson 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 popular culture to highlight the heroes of America, who were incidentally combating versus individuals who they considered weren’t American. A sophisticated search on IMDb finds a minimum of 94 popular film and TV reveal 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 look at the history of it and its context. American Patriot Award.
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Patriot is derived from a French word
Like a lot of words, patriot does not have English origins.
It’s originated from the Greek word “patrios,” which means “of one’s dad.” Patriot entered the English lexicon through the French word “patriote,” meaning “fellow compatriot” or “compatriot,” according to Merriam-Webster.
There’s never ever been any arguments about patriot’s actual definition, however it’s context – generally political – is what has altered over time, according to Kristen Syrett, associate teacher of linguistics at Rutgers University/New Brunswick. American Patriot Award.
During the 17th century, a patriot in Europe was someone who loved their nation and agreed with the established government and/or religion, Merriam Webster’s essay on the word states.
The word then altered in meaning and undertone as infighting in Europe led to the formation of brand-new nations, like America.
” This word had kind of changed from a fan of established government to somebody who protests a recognized government,” said Peter Sokolowski, editor-at-large for Merriam-Webster. American Patriot Award.
During the American Revolution, patriot had a favorable undertone in America, however an unfavorable one in England, Sokolowski said. It’s because of this that the founding fathers are viewed as the epitome of patriotism.
” It type of made them spiritual figures,” Sokolowski stated.
The unabridged meaning of patriot in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary likewise says it is someone who is a member of a resistance group. That definition has actually not been upgraded in a minimum of 30 years, Sokolowski said. American Patriot Award.
In the Oxford English Dictionary, among the earliest in the world, an entry of patriot was revised in 2005 to state:.
” A challenger of assumed intervention by federal government in the affairs of individuals, esp. with respect to weapon and tax laws. Often in the names of conservative libertarian political and militia groups.”.
A spokesperson for Oxford’s Languages team told CNN in an email the meaning became part of a routine series of updates in 2005.
” The definition in question is part of wide variety of nuanced uses of the word ‘patriot’ tape-recorded in the (Oxford English Dictionary) and modifications were made based upon proof of how the word is utilized in day-to-day life,” the statement read.
The addition of right-wing groups “traces the instructions the language is going,” Sokolowski stated. American Patriot Award.
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Dislike groups use ‘patriot’ for propaganda
Patriot in nativist, nationalistic and hate speech returns to a minimum of 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 far-right groups.
” That motion was arranged around understanding that external impacts – like non-White Europeans and others – were a danger to American worths,” Jackson said. “By the 1850s, we’re seeing language of patriotism and signs being used in political ways and to mark individuals as ‘among us and among them.'”.
The “us vs. them” mindset 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 state someone is a real patriot, I have a clear idea of what that indicates and what it suggests to not be a patriot,” said 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 suggested that America came. Anybody versus that specific set of values was viewed as a hazard, even if that threat was the US federal government.
The “America initially” conditions set the tone for the late 1980s and 90s when conspiracy theorists start forming what is called the Patriot Movement, an anti-government movement with White supremacist leanings, according to the SPLC. This motion culminated in the Oklahoma City Battle on April 19, 1995.
” The word patriot is regularly made use of by individuals that want to make the most of this concept of a love for country,” said Hayden, the SPLC senior investigative press reporter. “There is absolutely nothing incorrect with wishing to do helpful for your nation, but when that passion is corrupted … that is taking great objectives and damaging them for the purpose of doing damage.”.
Some people who stormed the US Capitol on January 6 called themselves patriots. American Patriot Award.
Former President Donald Trump and his daughter 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 deleted.
Trump likewise called the rioters “fantastic patriots” in a tweet on January 6. In July 2019, Trump safeguarded participants of his Greenville, North Carolina, rally – where members of the crowd shouted “send her back” about Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar – calling them “amazing patriots.”.
According to Jackson, the University at Albany professor, “When you say someone is a patriot, you’re saying there’s some goodness in them. It verifies them.”. American Patriot Award.
Popular culture uses patriot to illustrate America.
In popular culture, patriot can come up with numerous 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 consider United States soldiers fighting for freedom, like those seen in 1998’s “Conserving Private Ryan.”.
Then there are those films where the characters embody America going against an adversarial force that represents a danger to American worths, similar to 1985’s “Rocky IV” or the “Captain America” story in the Marvel Movies of the 2010s. American Patriot Award.
Being a patriot is “a word that deals with 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 said these movies and TV programs illustrating patriotism are a reflection of the times and reveal there is an audience for such content.
” Popular culture not just encourages a change in word meaning but it likewise capitalizes on a sentiment that exists on the broader public,” she stated.
There are also pop culture differences around what constitutes a patriot. American Patriot Award.
There are some, for example, who would call Colin Kaepernick a patriot. The former NFL star sparked debate after he sat in demonstration throughout the national anthem in 2016 for a pre-season game, stating he would not honor a tune nor “reveal pride in a flag for a nation that oppresses black individuals and people of color.” Kaepernick’s protest became part of a continuing nationwide argument about police’s unequal treatment of Black individuals.
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Still, others think that in taking a knee, Kaepernick disrespected America.
In the very same vein, Syrett and Sokolowski said there are some who would state the rioters at the United States Capitol were patriots, while others may have seen them as terrorists. American Patriot Award.
Syrett said the inconsistency over who or what is a patriot is a fight of linguistics that has actually been fought because the country’s starting – when it wasn’t even agreed upon on what it suggested to be American.