Just what does it mean to be a patriot? – American Patriot Film
Professionals say it’s challenging to define
For many, 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 implies “one who loves and supports his/her country,” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. One specialist told CNN calling somebody a “patriot” brings with it a greater level of pride and respect, putting a person on par with the creators of this country who are viewed as the original patriots. American Patriot Film.
It’s a word that’s supposed to bring unification and delight, but throughout history, it’s also divided and omitted people. American Patriot Film.
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In modern-day times, conspiracy theorists and extremists – including 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 purely American and (generally) White. Those who are not patriotic protest the US and everything it stands for, making them the opponent. American Patriot Film.
” It’s a rhetorical game with sometimes life and death repercussions,” 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 utilized in popular culture to highlight the heroes of America, who were by the way battling against individuals who they considered weren’t American. An innovative search on IMDb finds a minimum of 94 popular film and TV reveal 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 Film.
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Patriot is originated from a French word
Like many words, patriot does not have English origins.
It’s derived from the Greek word “patrios,” which means “of one’s father.” Patriot entered the English lexicon through the French word “patriote,” implying “fellow countryman” or “compatriot,” according to Merriam-Webster.
There’s never ever been any arguments about patriot’s literal definition, however it’s context – typically political – is what has actually changed in time, according to Kristen Syrett, associate professor of linguistics at Rutgers University/New Brunswick. American Patriot Film.
During the 17th century, a patriot in Europe was somebody who loved their nation and agreed with the established federal government and/or religion, Merriam Webster’s essay on the word states.
The word then changed in significance and undertone as infighting in Europe led to the development of new countries, like America.
” This word had sort of changed from a fan of established federal government to someone who protests an established government,” stated Peter Sokolowski, editor-at-large for Merriam-Webster. American Patriot Film.
Throughout the American Transformation, patriot had a positive connotation in America, but a negative one in England, Sokolowski stated. It’s because of this that the founding fathers are viewed as the embodiment of patriotism.
” It sort of made them religious figures,” Sokolowski said.
The unabridged meaning of patriot in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary also says it is someone who belongs to a resistance group. That meaning has actually not been upgraded in a minimum of thirty years, Sokolowski stated. American Patriot Film.
In the Oxford English Dictionary, one of the earliest in the world, an entry of patriot was modified 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 told CNN in an email the definition belonged to a regular series of updates in 2005.
” The definition in question becomes part of wide range of nuanced uses of the word ‘patriot’ taped in the (Oxford English Dictionary) and changes were made based on proof of how the word is utilized in day-to-day life,” the statement checked out.
The addition of right-wing groups “traces the direction the language is going,” Sokolowski said. American Patriot Film.
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Hate groups utilize ‘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 teacher at the University at Albany who studies patriotism and violence in far-right groups.
” That movement was organized around perception that external impacts – like non-White Europeans and others – were a threat to American worths,” Jackson said. “By the 1850s, we’re seeing language of patriotism and signs being utilized in political methods and to mark individuals as ‘among us and one of them.'”.
The “us vs. them” attitude of patriotism would continue into the brand-new century and change into a concept that patriotism is American and anything not American is bad.
” If I say someone is a true patriot, I have a clear concept of what that indicates and what it means to not be a patriot,” stated Syrett, the Rutgers professor. “This is a word that is truly conditioned by what our set of values is and what we think we’re defending.”.
The worths of being a patriot for those who had nativist and nationalist ideologies implied that America preceded and foremost. Anyone versus that particular set of values was viewed as a hazard, even if that hazard 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 referred to as the Patriot Motion, an anti-government motion 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 individuals that wish to benefit from this concept of a love for nation,” said Hayden, the SPLC senior investigative press reporter. “There is nothing incorrect with wishing to do helpful for your nation, however when that enthusiasm is damaged … that is taking excellent intentions and damaging them for the function of doing damage.”.
Some individuals who stormed the United States Capitol on January 6 called themselves patriots. American Patriot Film.
Former President Donald Trump and his child Ivanka have actually likewise used the word when referring to advocates.
Ivanka Trump dealt with the rioters as “American Patriots” in tweet from January 6 that she later on erased.
Trump likewise called the rioters “great patriots” in a tweet on January 6. In July 2019, Trump safeguarded participants 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 verifies them.”. American Patriot Film.
Pop culture utilizes patriot to show America.
In popular culture, patriot can bring forth numerous images.
For some it could be the founding fathers or the generation around the American Transformation, like in the 2000 film “The Patriot” starring Mel Gibson. Others may think about US soldiers fighting for flexibility, like those seen in 1998’s “Saving Private Ryan.”.
Then there are those films where the characters embody America breaking an adversarial force that represents a hazard to American values, similar to 1985’s “Rocky IV” or the “Captain America” story in the Marvel Movies of the 2010s. American Patriot Film.
Being a patriot is “a word that attends to identity,” Sokolowski, of Merriam-Webster, stated.
” Identity is a tremendously individual and political part of language,” he said. “When it pertains to identity, you’re getting to something that touches people deeply.”.
Syrett stated these films and TV programs depicting patriotism are a reflection of the times and reveal there is an audience for such material.
” Popular culture not just motivates a modification in word meaning but it also takes advantage of a belief that is there on the wider public,” she said.
There are also pop culture disagreements around what makes up a patriot. American Patriot Film.
There are some, for instance, who would call Colin Kaepernick a patriot. The former NFL star sparked debate after he sat in demonstration during the national anthem in 2016 for a pre-season game, stating he would not honor a tune nor “show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black individuals and people of color.” Kaepernick’s demonstration was part of a continuing national dispute about police’s unequal treatment of Black individuals.
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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 say the rioters at the US Capitol were patriots, while others might have seen them as terrorists. American Patriot Film.
Syrett said the discrepancy over who or what is a patriot is a fight of linguistics that has been battled because the country’s founding – when it wasn’t even agreed upon on what it indicated to be American.