Just what does it mean to be a patriot? – American Patriot United
Experts say it’s not easy to specify
For many, being thought about 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 suggests “one who loves and supports his/her country,” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. One expert informed CNN calling someone a “patriot” brings with it a higher level of pride and respect, putting an individual on par with the creators of this nation who are viewed as the initial patriots. American Patriot United.
It’s a word that’s supposed to bring unification and pleasure, but throughout history, it’s also divided and omitted people. American Patriot United.
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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 latched on to the word “patriot” as a method to describe individuals who are purely American and (normally) White. Those who are not patriotic protest the US and everything it means, making them the opponent. American Patriot United.
” It’s a rhetorical video game with often life and death effects,” said Michael Edison Hayden, senior investigative press reporter and spokesman 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 utilized in popular culture to show the heroes of America, who were incidentally battling versus individuals who they considered weren’t American. An innovative search on IMDb discovers a minimum of 94 popular motion picture and television show titles that are related 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 United.
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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 means “of one’s daddy.” Patriot got in the English lexicon through the French word “patriote,” suggesting “fellow countryman” or “compatriot,” according to Merriam-Webster.
There’s never ever been any arguments about patriot’s literal meaning, however it’s context – normally political – is what has actually changed in time, according to Kristen Syrett, associate teacher of linguistics at Rutgers University/New Brunswick. American Patriot United.
During the 17th century, a patriot in Europe was someone who enjoyed their nation and agreed with the recognized federal government and/or religious beliefs, Merriam Webster’s essay on the word states.
The word then changed in meaning and undertone as infighting in Europe caused the development of brand-new countries, like America.
” This word had kind of changed from a supporter of established federal government to someone who protests an established government,” stated Peter Sokolowski, editor-at-large for Merriam-Webster. American Patriot United.
During the American Transformation, patriot had a positive connotation in America, however an unfavorable one in England, Sokolowski said. It’s because of this that the founding fathers are viewed as the epitome of patriotism.
” It kind of made them spiritual figures,” Sokolowski stated.
The unabridged meaning of patriot in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary also states it is somebody who is a member of a resistance group. That meaning has actually not been upgraded in at least thirty years, Sokolowski said. American Patriot United.
In the Oxford English Dictionary, among the oldest worldwide, an entry of patriot was modified in 2005 to state:.
” An opponent of presumed intervention by federal government in the affairs of people, esp. with respect to gun and tax laws. Often in the names of conservative libertarian political and militia groups.”.
A spokesperson for Oxford’s Languages team told 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’ taped in the (Oxford English Dictionary) and modifications were made based on proof of how the word is used in day-to-day life,” the statement read.
The addition of conservative groups “traces the instructions the language is going,” Sokolowski said. American Patriot United.
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Hate groups utilize ‘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 professor at the University at Albany who studies patriotism and violence in reactionary groups.
” That movement 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 methods and to mark individuals as ‘among 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 say someone is a real patriot, I have a clear concept of what that indicates and what it means to not be a patriot,” said 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 fighting for.”.
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 viewed as a hazard, even if that danger 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 called 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 often exploited by people that want to take advantage of this concept of a love for country,” said Hayden, the SPLC senior investigative press reporter. “There is nothing wrong with wishing to do good for your country, but when that passion is corrupted … that is taking great objectives and damaging them for the purpose of doing damage.”.
Some people who stormed the United States Capitol on January 6 called themselves patriots. American Patriot United.
Former President Donald Trump and his child Ivanka have also used the word when describing fans.
Ivanka Trump resolved the rioters as “American Patriots” in tweet from January 6 that she later on erased.
Trump also called the rioters “excellent 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 “unbelievable patriots.”.
According to Jackson, the University at Albany teacher, “When you say someone is a patriot, you’re stating there’s some goodness in them. It validates them.”. American Patriot United.
Popular culture utilizes patriot to highlight America.
In popular culture, patriot can come up with 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 might think about US soldiers fighting for freedom, like those seen in 1998’s “Saving Private Ryan.”.
Then there are those movies where the characters embody America going against an adversarial force that represents a danger to American worths, much like 1985’s “Rocky IV” or the “Captain America” story in the Marvel Movies of the 2010s. American Patriot United.
Being a patriot is “a word that resolves identity,” Sokolowski, of Merriam-Webster, stated.
” Identity is an enormously individual and political part of language,” he stated. “When it concerns identity, you’re getting to something that touches people deeply.”.
Syrett said these motion pictures and television programs illustrating patriotism are a reflection of the times and show there is an audience for such content.
” Pop culture not just motivates a modification in word meaning but it likewise capitalizes on a sentiment that is there on the more comprehensive public,” she said.
There are likewise pop culture differences around what constitutes a patriot. American Patriot United.
There are some, for instance, who would call Colin Kaepernick a patriot. The former NFL star stimulated controversy after he beinged in demonstration throughout the nationwide anthem in 2016 for a pre-season video game, saying he would not honor a tune nor “reveal pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black individuals and individuals of color.” Kaepernick’s protest became part of a continuing national debate 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 said there are some who would state the rioters at the US Capitol were patriots, while others may have seen them as terrorists. American Patriot United.
Syrett stated the discrepancy over who or what is a patriot is a fight of linguistics that has actually been combated considering that the nation’s starting – when it wasn’t even agreed upon on what it suggested to be American.