What exactly does it mean to be a patriot? – American Patriot Fest
Experts say it’s not easy 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 long instilled a sense of pride in Americans. By definition, it suggests “one who likes and supports his or her nation,” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. One professional told CNN calling somebody a “patriot” brings with it a higher level of pride and regard, putting an individual on par with the creators of this nation who are viewed as the initial patriots. American Patriot Fest.
It’s a word that’s supposed to bring unification and joy, however throughout history, it’s likewise divided and left out individuals. American Patriot Fest.
American Patriot Fest
In modern times, conspiracy theorists and extremists – including 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 explain people who are purely American and (typically) White. Those who are not patriotic are against the United States and whatever it means, making them the enemy. American Patriot Fest.
” It’s a rhetorical video game with sometimes life and death effects,” stated Michael Edison Hayden, senior investigative reporter and spokesman 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 used in pop culture to illustrate the heroes of America, who were by the way battling against individuals who they considered weren’t American. An advanced search on IMDb discovers a minimum of 94 popular film and TV reveal titles that belong to “patriot” or “patriotism.”.
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 Fest.
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Patriot is derived from a French word
Like the majority of words, patriot does not have English origins.
It’s originated from the Greek word “patrios,” which implies “of one’s father.” Patriot got in the English lexicon through the French word “patriote,” indicating “fellow compatriot” or “compatriot,” according to Merriam-Webster.
There’s never been any arguments about patriot’s actual definition, but it’s context – typically political – is what has changed gradually, according to Kristen Syrett, associate teacher of linguistics at Rutgers University/New Brunswick. American Patriot Fest.
During 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 altered in meaning and connotation as infighting in Europe led to the development of new nations, like America.
” This word had actually sort of changed from a supporter of recognized federal government to someone who protests an established government,” said Peter Sokolowski, editor-at-large for Merriam-Webster. American Patriot Fest.
Throughout the American Transformation, patriot had a positive 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 sort of made them spiritual figures,” Sokolowski stated.
The unabridged definition of patriot in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary likewise says it is someone who is a member of a resistance group. That definition has not been upgraded in a minimum of thirty years, Sokolowski said. American Patriot Fest.
In the Oxford English Dictionary, one of the oldest worldwide, an entry of patriot was revised in 2005 to state:.
” A challenger of assumed intervention by federal government in the affairs of people, esp. with respect to weapon and tax laws. Often in the names of right-wing libertarian political and militia groups.”.
A representative for Oxford’s Languages group informed CNN in an e-mail the definition became part of a routine series of updates in 2005.
” The meaning in question becomes part of large range of nuanced uses of the word ‘patriot’ recorded in the (Oxford English Dictionary) and changes were made based on proof of how the word is used in everyday life,” the declaration checked out.
The addition of conservative groups “traces the instructions the language is going,” Sokolowski said. American Patriot Fest.
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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 arranged around perception 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 signs being used in political methods and to mark individuals as ‘one of 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 say somebody is a true patriot, I have a clear idea of what that indicates and what it implies to not be a patriot,” said 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 implied that America came. Anyone against that specific set of values was seen as a danger, even if that threat was the United States federal 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 Movement, an anti-government motion with White supremacist leanings, according to the SPLC. This movement culminated in the Oklahoma City Battle on April 19, 1995.
” The word patriot is regularly exploited by individuals that wish to benefit from this concept of a love for country,” said Hayden, the SPLC senior investigative reporter. “There is nothing wrong with wishing to do good for your country, however when that enthusiasm is damaged … that is taking excellent objectives and damaging them for the function of doing harm.”.
Some people who stormed the United States Capitol on January 6 called themselves patriots. American Patriot Fest.
Former President Donald Trump and his child Ivanka have actually also utilized the word when referring to advocates.
Ivanka Trump addressed the rioters as “American Patriots” in tweet from January 6 that she later erased.
Trump also called the rioters “terrific patriots” in a tweet on January 6. In July 2019, Trump protected attendees of his Greenville, North Carolina, rally – where members of the crowd shouted “send her back” about Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar – calling them “unbelievable patriots.”.
According to Jackson, the University at Albany teacher, “When you say somebody is a patriot, you’re stating there’s some goodness in them. It validates them.”. American Patriot Fest.
Popular culture uses patriot to show America.
In pop 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 US soldiers fighting for flexibility, like those seen in 1998’s “Conserving Private Ryan.”.
There are those films where the characters embody America going against an adversarial force that represents a risk to American values, much like 1985’s “Rocky IV” or the “Captain America” story in the Marvel Movies of the 2010s. American Patriot Fest.
Being a patriot is “a word that addresses identity,” Sokolowski, of Merriam-Webster, stated.
” Identity is a tremendously personal and political part of language,” he stated. “When it comes to identity, you’re getting to something that touches people deeply.”.
Syrett said these motion pictures and television programs depicting patriotism are a reflection of the times and reveal there is an audience for such material.
” Popular culture not just motivates a change in word meaning but it also takes advantage of a sentiment that is there on the wider public,” she said.
However there are also popular culture disagreements around what makes up a patriot. American Patriot Fest.
There are some, for instance, who would call Colin Kaepernick a patriot. The previous NFL star triggered controversy after he beinged in protest throughout the national anthem in 2016 for a pre-season video game, saying he would not honor a tune nor “reveal pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black individuals and individuals of color.” Kaepernick’s demonstration was part of a continuing national 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 state the rioters at the United States Capitol were patriots, while others might have seen them as terrorists. American Patriot Fest.
Syrett stated the inconsistency over who or what is a patriot is a fight of linguistics that has been battled because the nation’s starting – when it wasn’t even agreed upon on what it indicated to be American.