What exactly does it mean to be a patriot? – American Patriot Builders
Experts state it’s difficult to define
For lots of, being thought about a patriot is as American as it gets.
Of the millions of 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/her country,” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. One professional informed CNN calling somebody a “patriot” brings with it a greater level of pride and regard, putting a person on par with the founders of this nation who are seen as the initial patriots. American Patriot Builders.
It’s a word that’s supposed to bring marriage and happiness, however throughout history, it’s likewise divided and excluded individuals. American Patriot Builders.
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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 way to explain individuals who are simply American and (generally) White. Those who are not patriotic protest the United States and everything it represents, making them the opponent. American Patriot Builders.
” It’s a rhetorical game with often life and death consequences,” said Michael Edison Hayden, senior investigative press reporter and representative for the Southern Hardship Law Center (SPLC), an Alabama-based non-profit that tracks dislike groups and their activities.
At the same time, the word is still utilized in popular culture to illustrate the heroes of America, who were incidentally combating against people who they considered weren’t American. An advanced search on IMDb discovers a minimum of 94 popular motion picture and television reveal titles that relate 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 Patriot Builders.
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Patriot is stemmed from a French word
Like many words, patriot does not have English origins.
It’s originated from the Greek word “patrios,” which suggests “of one’s father.” Patriot entered the English lexicon through the French word “patriote,” indicating “fellow compatriot” or “compatriot,” according to Merriam-Webster.
There’s never ever been any arguments about patriot’s literal meaning, however it’s context – usually political – is what has changed over time, according to Kristen Syrett, associate professor of linguistics at Rutgers University/New Brunswick. American Patriot Builders.
Throughout the 17th century, a patriot in Europe was someone who loved their country and agreed with the established federal government and/or religious beliefs, Merriam Webster’s essay on the word states.
The word then changed in significance and connotation as infighting in Europe resulted in the formation of new nations, like America.
” This word had actually kind of changed from a fan of recognized government to somebody who is against a recognized government,” said Peter Sokolowski, editor-at-large for Merriam-Webster. American Patriot Builders.
During the American Transformation, patriot had a favorable connotation in America, but an unfavorable 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 said.
The unabridged definition of patriot in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary also states it is someone who belongs to a resistance group. That meaning has actually not been updated in a minimum of 30 years, Sokolowski said. American Patriot Builders.
In the Oxford English Dictionary, among 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 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 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 variety of nuanced uses of the word ‘patriot’ tape-recorded in the (Oxford English Dictionary) and modifications were made based on proof of how the word is utilized in everyday life,” the statement read.
The addition of conservative groups “traces the instructions the language is going,” Sokolowski stated. American Patriot Builders.
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Dislike groups use ‘patriot’ for propaganda
Patriot in nativist, nationalistic and dislike speech returns to a minimum of 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 movement was organized around understanding that external impacts – like non-White Europeans and others – were a hazard to American values,” Jackson said. “By the 1850s, we’re seeing language of patriotism and symbols being used in political methods and to mark people as ‘among us and among them.'”.
The “us vs. them” mindset 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 real patriot, I have a clear concept of what that suggests and what it indicates 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 fighting for.”.
The worths of being a patriot for those who had nativist and nationalist ideologies indicated that America preceded and foremost. Anyone against that particular set of values was viewed as a hazard, even if that hazard was the US government.
The “America first” conditions set the tone for the late 1980s and 90s when conspiracy theorists begin forming what is known as the Patriot Motion, 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 often made use of by individuals that want to take advantage of this concept of a love for nation,” said Hayden, the SPLC senior investigative reporter. “There is nothing incorrect with wanting to do great for your country, but when that enthusiasm is corrupted … that is taking good objectives and corrupting them for the purpose of doing damage.”.
Some people who stormed the US Capitol on January 6 called themselves patriots. American Patriot Builders.
Former President Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka have actually also used the word when referring to supporters.
Ivanka Trump resolved the rioters as “American Patriots” in tweet from January 6 that she later on 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 “incredible patriots.”.
According to Jackson, the University at Albany teacher, “When you state somebody is a patriot, you’re saying there’s some goodness in them. It confirms them.”. American Patriot Builders.
Pop 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 movie “The Patriot” starring Mel Gibson. Others may think of US soldiers defending flexibility, 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 hazard to American worths, similar to 1985’s “Rocky IV” or the “Captain America” storyline in the Marvel Movies of the 2010s. American Patriot Builders.
Being a patriot is “a word that resolves identity,” Sokolowski, of Merriam-Webster, said.
” Identity is an enormously individual 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 depicting patriotism are a reflection of the times and reveal there is an audience for such material.
” Pop culture not only encourages a change in word meaning but it also capitalizes on a belief that is there on the more comprehensive public,” she said.
But there are also popular culture arguments around what makes up a patriot. American Patriot Builders.
There are some, for example, who would call Colin Kaepernick a patriot. The former NFL star sparked controversy after he beinged in demonstration throughout the national anthem in 2016 for a pre-season game, saying he would not honor a tune nor “show pride in a flag for a nation that oppresses black people and individuals of color.” Kaepernick’s protest became part of a continuing nationwide debate about police’s unequal treatment of Black people.
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Still, others think that in taking a knee, Kaepernick disrespected America.
In the exact same vein, Syrett and Sokolowski stated there are some who would say the rioters at the US Capitol were patriots, while others might have seen them as terrorists. American Patriot Builders.
Syrett said the inconsistency over who or what is a patriot is a fight of linguistics that has been combated given that the country’s founding – when it wasn’t even agreed upon on what it meant to be American.