What exactly does it indicate to be a patriot? – American Patriot Medal
Professionals say it’s difficult to define
For numerous, being considered a patriot is as American as it gets.
Of the countless words in the English language, the word “patriot” has long instilled a sense of pride in Americans. By definition, it indicates “one who enjoys and supports his/her nation,” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. One specialist informed CNN calling someone 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 initial patriots. American Patriot Medal.
It’s a word that’s supposed to bring unification and delight, but throughout history, it’s also divided and omitted individuals. American Patriot Medal.
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In modern-day 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 way to explain individuals who are purely American and (usually) White. Those who are not patriotic protest the US and whatever it represents, making them the opponent. American Patriot Medal.
” It’s a rhetorical video game with sometimes life and death consequences,” said Michael Edison Hayden, senior investigative reporter and spokesperson for the Southern Hardship Law Center (SPLC), an Alabama-based non-profit that tracks hate 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 fighting against people who they considered weren’t American. An advanced search on IMDb discovers a minimum of 94 popular movie and television reveal titles that belong to “patriot” or “patriotism.”.
What makes “patriots” such a unifying, yet divisive word at the exact same time? Here’s a look at the history of it and its context. American Patriot Medal.
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Patriot is originated from a French word
Like most words, patriot does not have English origins.
It’s stemmed from the Greek word “patrios,” which implies “of one’s dad.” Patriot went into the English lexicon through the French word “patriote,” suggesting “fellow compatriot” or “compatriot,” according to Merriam-Webster.
There’s never been any arguments about patriot’s actual meaning, however it’s context – normally political – is what has actually altered in time, according to Kristen Syrett, associate teacher of linguistics at Rutgers University/New Brunswick. American Patriot Medal.
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 meaning and connotation as infighting in Europe resulted in the formation of new nations, like America.
” This word had actually kind of changed from an advocate of recognized government to somebody who is against a recognized government,” said Peter Sokolowski, editor-at-large for Merriam-Webster. American Patriot Medal.
Throughout the American Revolution, patriot had a positive undertone in America, however 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 meaning of patriot in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary likewise states it is someone who is a member of a resistance group. That definition has actually not been upgraded in at least thirty years, Sokolowski said. American Patriot Medal.
In the Oxford English Dictionary, among the earliest on the planet, an entry of patriot was revised in 2005 to say:.
” An opponent of assumed intervention by federal government in the affairs of people, esp. with respect to gun and tax laws. Regularly in the names of right-wing libertarian political and militia groups.”.
A representative for Oxford’s Languages team told CNN in an e-mail the meaning was part of a regular series of updates in 2005.
” The meaning in question is part of vast array 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 daily life,” the declaration checked out.
The addition of right-wing groups “traces the instructions the language is going,” Sokolowski said. American Patriot Medal.
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Hate groups use ‘patriot’ for propaganda
Patriot in nativist, nationalistic and hate speech goes back 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 far-right groups.
” That movement was arranged around perception that external influences – like non-White Europeans and others – were a danger to American values,” Jackson stated. “By the 1850s, we’re seeing language of patriotism and signs being used in political methods and to mark individuals as ‘among us and among them.'”.
The “us vs. them” mindset of patriotism would continue into the brand-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 means and what it means to not be a patriot,” said Syrett, the Rutgers professor. “This is a word that is actually conditioned by what our set of values is and what we believe we’re defending.”.
The worths of being a patriot for those who had nativist and nationalist ideologies implied that America came. Anybody versus that specific set of values was seen as a danger, even if that threat was the US government.
The “America initially” conditions set the tone for the late 1980s and 90s when conspiracy theorists begin forming what is called the Patriot Movement, an anti-government movement 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 made use of by people that want to make the most of this concept of a love for nation,” said Hayden, the SPLC senior investigative reporter. “There is nothing incorrect with wishing to do great for your country, but when that passion is damaged … that is taking great intents and corrupting them for the purpose of doing damage.”.
Some individuals who stormed the US Capitol on January 6 called themselves patriots. American Patriot Medal.
Former President Donald Trump and his child Ivanka have actually also used the word when describing advocates.
Ivanka Trump attended to the rioters as “American Patriots” in tweet from January 6 that she later on erased.
Trump also called the rioters “terrific patriots” in a tweet on January 6. In July 2019, Trump defended participants of his Greenville, North Carolina, rally – where members of the crowd shouted “send her back” about Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar – calling them “incredible patriots.”.
According to Jackson, the University at Albany teacher, “When you state someone is a patriot, you’re stating there’s some goodness in them. It verifies them.”. American Patriot Medal.
Pop culture uses patriot to show America.
In pop culture, patriot can produce 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 may think about US soldiers fighting for freedom, like those seen in 1998’s “Conserving Private Ryan.”.
There are those motion pictures where the characters embody America going against an adversarial force that represents a risk to American worths, much like 1985’s “Rocky IV” or the “Captain America” story in the Marvel Movies of the 2010s. American Patriot Medal.
Being a patriot is “a word that addresses identity,” Sokolowski, of Merriam-Webster, said.
” Identity is an immensely personal and political part of language,” he stated. “When it pertains to identity, you’re getting to something that touches individuals deeply.”.
Syrett said these motion pictures and TV shows depicting patriotism are a reflection of the times and show there is an audience for such content.
” Pop culture not only motivates a change in word meaning however it also takes advantage of a belief that is there on the broader public,” she said.
There are likewise pop culture disputes around what constitutes a patriot. American Patriot Medal.
There are some, for instance, who would call Colin Kaepernick a patriot. The previous NFL star triggered debate after he sat in protest 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 individuals of color.” Kaepernick’s demonstration was part of a continuing nationwide dispute about law enforcement’s unequal treatment of Black people.
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Still, others believe that in taking a knee, Kaepernick disrespected America.
In the very same vein, Syrett and Sokolowski stated 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 Medal.
Syrett said the inconsistency over who or what is a patriot is a fight of linguistics that has been battled given that the country’s starting – when it wasn’t even agreed upon on what it meant to be American.