Exactly what does it mean to be a patriot? – American Patriot News.Info
Specialists state it’s challenging to define
For lots of, being thought about a patriot is as American as it gets.
Of the countless 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 or her country,” 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 founders of this nation who are seen as the initial patriots. American Patriot News.Info.
It’s a word that’s expected to bring unification and joy, but throughout history, it’s also divided and omitted individuals. American Patriot News.Info.
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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 purely American and (generally) White. Those who are not patriotic protest the US and whatever it means, making them the opponent. American Patriot News.Info.
” It’s a rhetorical game with sometimes life and death consequences,” said Michael Edison Hayden, senior investigative reporter and spokesman 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 used in popular culture to show the heroes of America, who were incidentally fighting against people who they considered weren’t American. A sophisticated search on IMDb discovers a minimum of 94 popular movie and television 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 look at the history of it and its context. American Patriot News.Info.
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Patriot is stemmed from a French word
Like the majority of words, patriot does not have English origins.
It’s derived from the Greek word “patrios,” which suggests “of one’s father.” Patriot entered the English lexicon through the French word “patriote,” suggesting “fellow countryman” or “compatriot,” according to Merriam-Webster.
There’s never been any arguments about patriot’s literal definition, however it’s context – generally political – is what has altered in time, according to Kristen Syrett, associate professor of linguistics at Rutgers University/New Brunswick. American Patriot News.Info.
Throughout the 17th century, a patriot in Europe was someone who liked their nation and agreed with the recognized federal government and/or religious beliefs, Merriam Webster’s essay on the word states.
The word then altered in significance and undertone as infighting in Europe led to the formation of new countries, like America.
” This word had kind of changed from a supporter of established government to somebody who is against an established government,” said Peter Sokolowski, editor-at-large for Merriam-Webster. American Patriot News.Info.
During 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 seen as the epitome of patriotism.
” It kind of made them spiritual figures,” Sokolowski said.
The unabridged definition of patriot in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary likewise says it is someone who is a member of a resistance group. That meaning has actually not been upgraded in a minimum of 30 years, Sokolowski stated. American Patriot News.Info.
In the Oxford English Dictionary, one of the oldest worldwide, an entry of patriot was modified in 2005 to state:.
” An opponent of assumed intervention by federal government in the affairs of individuals, 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 team informed CNN in an e-mail the meaning belonged to a regular series of updates in 2005.
” The definition in question belongs to large range of nuanced uses of the word ‘patriot’ taped in the (Oxford English Dictionary) and changes were made based upon evidence 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 stated. American Patriot News.Info.
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Dislike groups utilize ‘patriot’ for propaganda
Patriot in nativist, nationalistic and dislike speech goes back to at least 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 influences – like non-White Europeans and others – were a risk to American values,” Jackson stated. “By the 1850s, we’re seeing language of patriotism and symbols being used in political ways and to mark people as ‘one of us and among them.'”.
The “us vs. them” attitude 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 implies and what it indicates to not be a patriot,” stated Syrett, the Rutgers professor. “This is a word that is really conditioned by what our set of values is and what we think we’re fighting for.”.
The values of being a patriot for those who had nativist and nationalist ideologies suggested that America came. Anyone versus that particular set of values was seen as a risk, even if that danger 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 referred to as the Patriot Movement, an anti-government motion with White supremacist leanings, according to the SPLC. This movement culminated in the Oklahoma City Bombing on April 19, 1995.
” The word patriot is frequently made use of by people that wish to benefit from this idea of a love for nation,” said Hayden, the SPLC senior investigative reporter. “There is nothing incorrect with wanting to do helpful for your country, but when that passion is damaged … that is taking excellent intentions and damaging them for the function of doing damage.”.
Some people who stormed the US Capitol on January 6 called themselves patriots. American Patriot News.Info.
Former President Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka have also used the word when referring to advocates.
Ivanka Trump addressed the rioters as “American Patriots” in tweet from January 6 that she later deleted.
Trump also called the rioters “great patriots” in a tweet on January 6. In July 2019, Trump defended attendees of his Greenville, North Carolina, rally – where members of the crowd chanted “send her back” about Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar – calling them “extraordinary patriots.”.
According to Jackson, the University at Albany teacher, “When you say somebody is a patriot, you’re saying there’s some goodness in them. It confirms them.”. American Patriot News.Info.
Popular culture uses patriot to highlight America.
In popular culture, patriot can bring forth numerous 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 might think of United States soldiers fighting for liberty, like those seen in 1998’s “Conserving Private Ryan.”.
Then there are those films where the characters embody America breaking an adversarial force that represents a threat to American values, similar to 1985’s “Rocky IV” or the “Captain America” story in the Marvel Movies of the 2010s. American Patriot News.Info.
Being a patriot is “a word that attends to identity,” Sokolowski, of Merriam-Webster, said.
” Identity is a tremendously individual and political part of language,” he said. “When it comes to identity, you’re getting to something that touches people deeply.”.
Syrett stated these films and TV programs portraying patriotism are a reflection of the times and show there is an audience for such content.
” Popular culture not only motivates a modification in word meaning but it likewise capitalizes on a sentiment that is there on the wider public,” she stated.
There are also pop culture differences around what makes up a patriot. American Patriot News.Info.
There are some, for instance, who would call Colin Kaepernick a patriot. The previous NFL star sparked debate after he sat in protest during the national anthem in 2016 for a pre-season game, saying he would not honor a song nor “show pride in a flag for a nation that oppresses black people and people of color.” Kaepernick’s demonstration was part of a continuing national 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 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 News.Info.
Syrett stated the discrepancy over who or what is a patriot is a battle of linguistics that has actually been battled considering that the country’s founding – when it wasn’t even agreed upon on what it implied to be American.