What exactly does it mean to be a patriot? – The Patriot American News
Experts say it’s not easy to specify
For many, being considered 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 suggests “one who likes and supports his or her nation,” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. One specialist told CNN calling somebody a “patriot” brings with it a higher level of pride and regard, putting a person on par with the creators of this country who are seen as the initial patriots. The Patriot American News.
It’s a word that’s expected to bring unification and happiness, but throughout history, it’s also divided and excluded people. The Patriot American News.
The Patriot American News
In modern times, conspiracy theorists and extremists – including 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 method to explain people who are purely American and (normally) White. Those who are not patriotic are against the United States and whatever it represents, making them the opponent. The Patriot American News.
” It’s a rhetorical video game with sometimes life and death repercussions,” 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 utilized in popular culture to show the heroes of America, who were incidentally fighting versus individuals who they deemed weren’t American. An advanced search on IMDb finds at least 94 popular motion picture and TV show titles that belong 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. The Patriot American News.
The Patriot American News
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 implies “of one’s daddy.” Patriot got in 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 literal definition, however it’s context – generally political – is what has actually altered over time, according to Kristen Syrett, associate teacher of linguistics at Rutgers University/New Brunswick. The Patriot American News.
During the 17th century, a patriot in Europe was someone who enjoyed their nation 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 undertone as infighting in Europe caused the formation of new countries, like America.
” This word had actually type of switched from a fan of recognized federal government to someone who is against an established federal government,” stated Peter Sokolowski, editor-at-large for Merriam-Webster. The Patriot American News.
Throughout the American Revolution, patriot had a favorable undertone in America, but a negative one in England, Sokolowski stated. It’s because of this that the founding fathers are viewed as the embodiment of patriotism.
” It sort of made them religious figures,” Sokolowski said.
The unabridged definition of patriot in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary likewise states it is somebody who belongs to a resistance group. That meaning has actually not been updated in a minimum of thirty years, Sokolowski said. The Patriot American News.
In the Oxford English Dictionary, among the oldest in the world, 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. Often in the names of right-wing libertarian political and militia groups.”.
A representative for Oxford’s Languages group told CNN in an email the meaning was part of a regular series of updates in 2005.
” The meaning in question belongs to large range of nuanced uses of the word ‘patriot’ tape-recorded in the (Oxford English Dictionary) and modifications were made based on evidence of how the word is used in day-to-day life,” the statement read.
The addition of right-wing groups “traces the direction the language is going,” Sokolowski said. The Patriot American News.
The Patriot American News
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 Party, 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 worths,” Jackson stated. “By the 1850s, we’re seeing language of patriotism and signs being used in political methods and to mark people as ‘among us and one of them.'”.
The “us vs. them” mindset of patriotism would continue into the brand-new century and change into an idea that patriotism is American and anything not American is bad.
” If I say somebody is a true patriot, I have a clear idea of what that means and what it suggests to not be a patriot,” said Syrett, the Rutgers teacher. “This is a word that is really 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 implied that America preceded and foremost. Anyone against that particular set of values was viewed as a danger, 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 begin forming what is referred to as the Patriot Motion, an anti-government movement with White supremacist leanings, according to the SPLC. This movement culminated in the Oklahoma City Battle on April 19, 1995.
” The word patriot is frequently exploited by people that want to take advantage of this concept of a love for country,” stated Hayden, the SPLC senior investigative reporter. “There is absolutely nothing incorrect with wishing to do good for your nation, but when that enthusiasm is damaged … that is taking excellent objectives and damaging them for the purpose of doing harm.”.
Some people who stormed the US Capitol on January 6 called themselves patriots. The Patriot American News.
Former President Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka have actually also used the word when referring to advocates.
Ivanka Trump attended to the rioters as “American Patriots” in tweet from January 6 that she later deleted.
Trump also called the rioters “terrific patriots” in a tweet on January 6. In July 2019, Trump safeguarded guests 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 state someone is a patriot, you’re saying there’s some goodness in them. It confirms them.”. The Patriot American News.
Pop culture uses patriot to highlight America.
In popular 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 movie “The Patriot” starring Mel Gibson. Others might consider US soldiers fighting for liberty, like those seen in 1998’s “Conserving Private Ryan.”.
Then there are those motion pictures where the characters embody America breaking an adversarial force that represents a risk to American values, just like 1985’s “Rocky IV” or the “Captain America” story in the Marvel Movies of the 2010s. The Patriot American News.
Being a patriot is “a word that resolves identity,” Sokolowski, of Merriam-Webster, said.
” Identity is an enormously individual and political part of language,” he said. “When it comes to identity, you’re getting to something that touches individuals deeply.”.
Syrett stated these motion pictures and television shows illustrating patriotism are a reflection of the times and reveal there is an audience for such content.
” Popular culture not only motivates a modification in word meaning however it also profits from a sentiment that is there on the broader public,” she said.
There are also pop culture disputes around what makes up a patriot. The Patriot American News.
There are some, for example, who would call Colin Kaepernick a patriot. The previous NFL star sparked controversy after he beinged in demonstration throughout the nationwide anthem in 2016 for a pre-season game, saying he would not honor a tune nor “reveal pride in a flag for a nation that oppresses black individuals and individuals of color.” Kaepernick’s demonstration was part of a continuing national argument about law enforcement’s unequal treatment of Black individuals.
The Patriot American News
Still, others think that in taking a knee, Kaepernick disrespected America.
In the very same vein, Syrett and Sokolowski said there are some who would say the rioters at the United States Capitol were patriots, while others may have seen them as terrorists. The Patriot American News.
Syrett said the inconsistency over who or what is a patriot is a battle of linguistics that has been combated since the country’s founding – when it wasn’t even agreed upon on what it implied to be American.