Just what does it mean to be a patriot? – Patriot American Partners
Experts say 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 suggests “one who loves and supports his/her country,” 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 seen as the original patriots. Patriot American Partners.
It’s a word that’s expected to bring unification and pleasure, however throughout history, it’s likewise divided and left out individuals. Patriot American Partners.
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In modern times, conspiracy theorists and extremists – including some members of the groups who participated in the Capitol riots on January 6 – have latched on to the word “patriot” as a method to explain individuals who are simply American and (typically) White. Those who are not patriotic protest the US and everything it means, making them the enemy. Patriot American Partners.
” It’s a rhetorical game with in some cases life and death consequences,” said Michael Edison Hayden, senior investigative reporter and representative 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 show the heroes of America, who were incidentally battling against individuals who they deemed weren’t American. An innovative search on IMDb finds a minimum of 94 popular motion picture and TV reveal 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 look at the history of it and its context. Patriot American Partners.
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Patriot is derived from a French word
Like a lot of words, patriot does not have English origins.
It’s stemmed from the Greek word “patrios,” which suggests “of one’s daddy.” Patriot went into the English lexicon through the French word “patriote,” implying “fellow compatriot” or “compatriot,” according to Merriam-Webster.
There’s never been any arguments about patriot’s actual definition, however it’s context – typically political – is what has altered in time, according to Kristen Syrett, associate teacher of linguistics at Rutgers University/New Brunswick. Patriot American Partners.
Throughout the 17th century, a patriot in Europe was somebody who loved their country and agreed with the established federal government and/or faith, Merriam Webster’s essay on the word states.
The word then altered in meaning and connotation as infighting in Europe led to the formation of new countries, like America.
” This word had actually sort of switched from a fan of recognized government to someone who protests an established government,” said Peter Sokolowski, editor-at-large for Merriam-Webster. Patriot American Partners.
Throughout the American Revolution, patriot had a favorable undertone in America, but an unfavorable one in England, Sokolowski said. It’s because of this that the founding fathers are viewed as the embodiment of patriotism.
” It sort of made them spiritual figures,” Sokolowski said.
The unabridged meaning of patriot in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary likewise states it is somebody who belongs to a resistance group. That definition has actually not been updated in a minimum of thirty years, Sokolowski said. Patriot American Partners.
In the Oxford English Dictionary, one of the earliest on the planet, an entry of patriot was modified in 2005 to say:.
” An opponent of assumed 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 representative for Oxford’s Languages group told CNN in an email the definition was part of a routine series of updates in 2005.
” The definition in question becomes part of wide variety of nuanced uses of the word ‘patriot’ recorded in the (Oxford English Dictionary) and changes were made based on evidence of how the word is used in day-to-day life,” the declaration read.
The addition of conservative groups “traces the direction the language is going,” Sokolowski stated. Patriot American Partners.
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Hate groups utilize ‘patriot’ for propaganda
Patriot in nativist, nationalistic and dislike speech returns to a minimum of the mid-1800s to the Know Nothing Celebration, 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 threat 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 one of them.'”.
The “us vs. them” mindset of patriotism would continue into the new century and change into an idea 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 suggests and what it means to not be a patriot,” stated 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 defending.”.
The worths of being a patriot for those who had nativist and nationalist ideologies suggested that America came first and foremost. Anyone versus that particular set of values was viewed as a risk, even if that hazard was the United States government.
The “America initially” conditions set the tone for the late 1980s and 90s when conspiracy theorists begin forming what is known 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 individuals that want to take advantage 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 good for your country, but when that passion is corrupted … that is taking great intentions and damaging them for the purpose of doing harm.”.
Some people who stormed the United States Capitol on January 6 called themselves patriots. Patriot American Partners.
Former President Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka have actually likewise utilized the word when referring to fans.
Ivanka Trump attended to the rioters as “American Patriots” in tweet from January 6 that she later erased.
Trump likewise called the rioters “excellent patriots” in a tweet on January 6. In July 2019, Trump defended guests of his Greenville, North Carolina, rally – where members of the crowd shouted “send her back” about Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar – calling them “amazing 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 validates them.”. Patriot American Partners.
Popular culture utilizes patriot to highlight America.
In popular culture, patriot can produce lots of 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 going against an adversarial force that represents a danger to American values, similar to 1985’s “Rocky IV” or the “Captain America” storyline in the Marvel Movies of the 2010s. Patriot American Partners.
Being a patriot is “a word that resolves identity,” Sokolowski, of Merriam-Webster, stated.
” Identity is an enormously personal and political part of language,” he stated. “When it concerns identity, you’re getting to something that touches individuals deeply.”.
Syrett said these films and TV shows depicting 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 however it likewise profits from a sentiment that exists on the more comprehensive public,” she said.
There are likewise pop culture disputes around what makes up a patriot. Patriot American Partners.
There are some, for example, who would call Colin Kaepernick a patriot. The former NFL star triggered debate after he sat in demonstration during the national anthem in 2016 for a pre-season video game, saying 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 belonged to a continuing nationwide dispute about law enforcement’s unequal treatment of Black individuals.
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Still, others think 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 US Capitol were patriots, while others might have seen them as terrorists. Patriot American Partners.
Syrett stated the disparity over who or what is a patriot is a battle of linguistics that has been fought given that the nation’s starting – when it wasn’t even agreed upon on what it indicated to be American.