What exactly does it imply to be a patriot? – American Patriot Reaction
Specialists state it’s not easy 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 means “one who likes and supports his/her nation,” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. One specialist told CNN calling somebody a “patriot” brings with it a greater level of pride and regard, putting an individual on par with the creators of this country who are viewed as the initial patriots. American Patriot Reaction.
It’s a word that’s expected to bring marriage and delight, but throughout history, it’s also divided and left out individuals. American Patriot Reaction.
American Patriot Reaction
In modern times, conspiracy theorists and extremists – consisting of some members of the groups who participated in the Capitol riots on January 6 – have actually latched on to the word “patriot” as a way to explain people who are purely American and (usually) White. Those who are not patriotic are against the United States and whatever it means, making them the opponent. American Patriot Reaction.
” It’s a rhetorical video game with in some cases life and death effects,” said Michael Edison Hayden, senior investigative reporter and representative 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 highlight the heroes of America, who were incidentally battling versus individuals who they considered weren’t American. An advanced search on IMDb finds at least 94 popular motion picture and TV reveal titles that are related to “patriot” or “patriotism.”.
What makes “patriots” such a unifying, yet divisive word at the same time? Here’s a look at the history of it and its context. American Patriot Reaction.
American Patriot Reaction
Patriot is derived from a French word
Like most words, patriot does not have English origins.
It’s originated from the Greek word “patrios,” which indicates “of one’s dad.” 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 – usually political – is what has altered gradually, according to Kristen Syrett, associate teacher of linguistics at Rutgers University/New Brunswick. American Patriot Reaction.
During the 17th century, a patriot in Europe was someone who liked their nation and agreed with the established government and/or faith, 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 switched from an advocate of established government to somebody who protests a recognized government,” said Peter Sokolowski, editor-at-large for Merriam-Webster. American Patriot Reaction.
Throughout the American Revolution, patriot had a positive connotation in America, but an unfavorable 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 also says it is someone who belongs to a resistance group. That definition has actually not been updated in a minimum of thirty years, Sokolowski said. American Patriot Reaction.
In the Oxford English Dictionary, among the oldest worldwide, an entry of patriot was modified in 2005 to state:.
” A challenger 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 told CNN in an e-mail the meaning belonged to a routine series of updates in 2005.
” The definition in question becomes part of wide variety of nuanced uses of the word ‘patriot’ taped in the (Oxford English Dictionary) and changes were made based on evidence of how the word is used in daily life,” the declaration checked out.
The addition of right-wing groups “traces the instructions the language is going,” Sokolowski said. American Patriot Reaction.
American Patriot Reaction
Dislike groups use ‘patriot’ for propaganda
Patriot in nativist, nationalistic and hate 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 reactionary groups.
” That motion was organized around understanding that external influences – like non-White Europeans and others – were a threat to American values,” Jackson said. “By the 1850s, we’re seeing language of patriotism and signs being used in political ways 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 someone is a true patriot, I have a clear concept of what that implies and what it implies to not be a patriot,” stated Syrett, the Rutgers teacher. “This is a word that is truly 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. Anybody against that specific set of values was seen as a risk, 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 start forming what is known as the Patriot Movement, 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 exploited by people that want to make the most of this concept of a love for nation,” said Hayden, the SPLC senior investigative press reporter. “There is absolutely nothing wrong with wishing to do helpful for your country, however when that enthusiasm is damaged … that is taking great intents and damaging them for the function of doing damage.”.
Some people who stormed the US Capitol on January 6 called themselves patriots. American Patriot Reaction.
Former President Donald Trump and his child Ivanka have actually also used the word when referring to fans.
Ivanka Trump addressed the rioters as “American Patriots” in tweet from January 6 that she later on erased.
Trump also called the rioters “great patriots” in a tweet on January 6. In July 2019, Trump defended participants 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 professor, “When you state someone is a patriot, you’re stating there’s some goodness in them. It confirms them.”. American Patriot Reaction.
Popular culture utilizes patriot to illustrate America.
In pop culture, patriot can produce many 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 of United States soldiers defending flexibility, like those seen in 1998’s “Saving Private Ryan.”.
There are those movies where the characters embody America going versus an adversarial force that represents a threat to American values, much like 1985’s “Rocky IV” or the “Captain America” storyline in the Marvel Movies of the 2010s. American Patriot Reaction.
Being a patriot is “a word that attends to identity,” Sokolowski, of Merriam-Webster, stated.
” Identity is an immensely individual and political part of language,” he said. “When it pertains to identity, you’re getting to something that touches people deeply.”.
Syrett said these movies and television shows illustrating patriotism are a reflection of the times and reveal there is an audience for such material.
” Popular culture not only motivates a change in word meaning but it likewise profits from a sentiment that exists on the more comprehensive public,” she said.
However there are also pop culture disagreements around what makes up a patriot. American Patriot Reaction.
There are some, for instance, who would call Colin Kaepernick a patriot. The former NFL star triggered controversy after he beinged in protest throughout the nationwide anthem in 2016 for a pre-season video game, stating he would not honor a tune nor “show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and individuals of color.” Kaepernick’s demonstration became part of a continuing nationwide debate about police’s unequal treatment of Black people.
American Patriot Reaction
Still, others think that in taking a knee, Kaepernick disrespected America.
In the exact same vein, Syrett and Sokolowski said there are some who would state the rioters at the US Capitol were patriots, while others might have seen them as terrorists. American Patriot Reaction.
Syrett said the disparity over who or what is a patriot is a fight of linguistics that has been combated considering that the country’s starting – when it wasn’t even agreed upon on what it suggested to be American.