Exactly what does it mean to be a patriot? – American Patriot T-shirts
Specialists say it’s not easy to specify
For many, being thought about a patriot is as American as it gets.
Of the millions of words in the English language, the word “patriot” has actually long instilled a sense of pride in Americans. By definition, it means “one who likes and supports his or her country,” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. One professional told CNN calling someone a “patriot” brings with it a greater level of pride and regard, putting a person on par with the creators of this country who are seen as the original patriots. American Patriot T-shirts.
It’s a word that’s expected to bring marriage and happiness, but throughout history, it’s also divided and left out people. American Patriot T-shirts.
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In modern-day times, conspiracy theorists and extremists – consisting of some members of the groups who took part in the Capitol riots on January 6 – have actually latched on to the word “patriot” as a way to explain people who are simply American and (typically) White. Those who are not patriotic protest the United States and whatever it means, making them the enemy. American Patriot T-shirts.
” It’s a rhetorical game with sometimes life and death effects,” stated Michael Edison Hayden, senior investigative press reporter and spokesperson for the Southern Poverty 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 incidentally combating versus individuals who they considered weren’t American. An innovative search on IMDb finds at least 94 popular movie and TV show titles that belong to “patriot” or “patriotism.”.
So what makes “patriots” such a unifying, yet divisive word at the same time? Here’s a take a look at the history of it and its context. American Patriot T-shirts.
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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 means “of one’s father.” Patriot went into 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 literal 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 T-shirts.
Throughout the 17th century, a patriot in Europe was someone who liked their nation and agreed with the recognized government and/or religion, Merriam Webster’s essay on the word states.
The word then altered in significance and undertone as infighting in Europe caused the development of new nations, like America.
” This word had actually type of switched from a fan of recognized federal government to somebody who is against a recognized federal government,” stated Peter Sokolowski, editor-at-large for Merriam-Webster. American Patriot T-shirts.
During the American Revolution, patriot had a favorable connotation in America, however a negative one in England, Sokolowski said. It’s because of this that the founding fathers are viewed as the epitome of patriotism.
” It type of made them religious figures,” Sokolowski stated.
The unabridged meaning of patriot in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary also 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 said. American Patriot T-shirts.
In the Oxford English Dictionary, one of the oldest on the planet, an entry of patriot was revised in 2005 to say:.
” A challenger of presumed intervention by federal government in the affairs of individuals, esp. with respect to gun and tax laws. Frequently in the names of conservative libertarian political and militia groups.”.
A spokesperson for Oxford’s Languages group informed CNN in an email the meaning belonged to a routine series of updates in 2005.
” The definition in question belongs to vast array of nuanced uses of the word ‘patriot’ tape-recorded in the (Oxford English Dictionary) and modifications were made based upon evidence of how the word is used 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 T-shirts.
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Dislike groups utilize ‘patriot’ for propaganda
Patriot in nativist, nationalistic and dislike speech goes back to a minimum of 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 reactionary groups.
” That motion was organized around understanding that external impacts – like non-White Europeans and others – were a hazard to American values,” Jackson said. “By the 1850s, we’re seeing language of patriotism and symbols being utilized in political ways and to mark people as ‘one of us and one of them.'”.
The “us vs. them” attitude of patriotism would continue into the new century and change into a concept that patriotism is American and anything not American is bad.
” If I state someone is a true patriot, I have a clear concept of what that means and what it implies 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 fighting for.”.
The values of being a patriot for those who had nativist and nationalist ideologies suggested that America came. Anyone against that specific set of values was viewed as a danger, even if that hazard 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 referred to as the Patriot Movement, an anti-government movement 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 exploited by individuals that wish to take advantage of this concept of a love for country,” stated Hayden, the SPLC senior investigative press reporter. “There is nothing wrong with wanting to do helpful for your country, however when that enthusiasm is damaged … that is taking good intents and damaging them for the purpose of doing damage.”.
Some people who stormed the US Capitol on January 6 called themselves patriots. American Patriot T-shirts.
Former President Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka have actually likewise used the word when referring to fans.
Ivanka Trump dealt with the rioters as “American Patriots” in tweet from January 6 that she later erased.
Trump also called the rioters “excellent patriots” in a tweet on January 6. In July 2019, Trump safeguarded participants of his Greenville, North Carolina, rally – where members of the crowd shouted “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 validates them.”. American Patriot T-shirts.
Pop culture uses 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 might consider United States soldiers defending flexibility, like those seen in 1998’s “Saving Private Ryan.”.
There are those motion pictures 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 T-shirts.
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 comes to identity, you’re getting to something that touches individuals deeply.”.
Syrett stated these films and TV programs illustrating patriotism are a reflection of the times and reveal there is an audience for such material.
” Pop culture not just encourages a change in word meaning but it likewise capitalizes on a belief that is there on the broader public,” she stated.
But there are also pop culture disputes around what constitutes a patriot. American Patriot T-shirts.
There are some, for instance, who would call Colin Kaepernick a patriot. The previous NFL star stimulated controversy after he sat in demonstration during the nationwide anthem in 2016 for a pre-season game, stating he would not honor a song nor “reveal pride in a flag for a nation that oppresses black people and people of color.” Kaepernick’s demonstration was part of a continuing national argument about police’s unequal treatment of Black people.
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Still, others believe that in taking a knee, Kaepernick disrespected America.
In the same vein, Syrett and Sokolowski stated there are some who would say the rioters at the US Capitol were patriots, while others may have seen them as terrorists. American Patriot T-shirts.
Syrett said the disparity over who or what is a patriot is a battle of linguistics that has actually been fought given that the country’s founding – when it wasn’t even agreed upon on what it suggested to be American.