Just what does it mean to be a patriot? – Woman American Patriot
Experts say it’s difficult 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 actually long instilled a sense of pride in Americans. By definition, it indicates “one who loves and supports his or her country,” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. One professional told CNN calling someone a “patriot” brings with it a higher level of pride and regard, putting an individual on par with the founders of this country who are seen as the original patriots. Woman American Patriot.
It’s a word that’s supposed to bring marriage and happiness, however throughout history, it’s likewise divided and left out people. Woman American Patriot.
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In contemporary times, conspiracy theorists and extremists – consisting of 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 describe people who are simply American and (usually) White. Those who are not patriotic are against the United States and whatever it means, making them the enemy. Woman American Patriot.
” It’s a rhetorical video game with often life and death effects,” said Michael Edison Hayden, senior investigative press 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 illustrate the heroes of America, who were incidentally combating versus people who they deemed weren’t American. A sophisticated search on IMDb discovers at least 94 popular movie and television show titles that belong to “patriot” or “patriotism.”.
What makes “patriots” such a unifying, yet dissentious word at the exact same time? Here’s a take a look at the history of it and its context. Woman American Patriot.
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Patriot is stemmed from a French word
Like a lot of words, patriot does not have English origins.
It’s stemmed from the Greek word “patrios,” which means “of one’s daddy.” Patriot got in the English lexicon through the French word “patriote,” meaning “fellow countryman” or “compatriot,” according to Merriam-Webster.
There’s never been any arguments about patriot’s literal definition, however it’s context – typically political – is what has actually changed in time, according to Kristen Syrett, associate teacher of linguistics at Rutgers University/New Brunswick. Woman American Patriot.
During the 17th century, a patriot in Europe was someone who enjoyed their nation and agreed with the recognized government and/or religion, Merriam Webster’s essay on the word states.
The word then changed in meaning and connotation as infighting in Europe led to the development of brand-new countries, like America.
” This word had actually type of changed from a fan of established government to someone who is against a recognized federal government,” stated Peter Sokolowski, editor-at-large for Merriam-Webster. Woman American Patriot.
Throughout the American Revolution, patriot had a positive connotation in America, however an unfavorable one in England, Sokolowski stated. It’s because of this that the founding fathers are viewed as the epitome of patriotism.
” It sort of made them religious figures,” Sokolowski stated.
The unabridged definition of patriot in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary also states it is somebody who belongs to a resistance group. That definition has not been updated in a minimum of thirty years, Sokolowski said. Woman American Patriot.
In the Oxford English Dictionary, one of the oldest on the planet, an entry of patriot was modified in 2005 to state:.
” A challenger of assumed intervention by federal government in the affairs of individuals, esp. with respect to gun and tax laws. Regularly in the names of conservative libertarian political and militia groups.”.
A representative for Oxford’s Languages team told CNN in an e-mail the definition belonged to a routine series of updates in 2005.
” The meaning in question becomes part of vast array of nuanced uses of the word ‘patriot’ recorded in the (Oxford English Dictionary) and modifications were made based on proof of how the word is utilized in everyday life,” the statement checked out.
The addition of conservative groups “traces the direction the language is going,” Sokolowski said. Woman American Patriot.
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Hate groups use ‘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 professor at the University at Albany who studies patriotism and violence in reactionary groups.
” That movement was arranged around perception that external influences – like non-White Europeans and others – were a hazard to American values,” Jackson stated. “By the 1850s, we’re seeing language of patriotism and symbols being utilized in political methods and to mark individuals as ‘among us and among them.'”.
The “us vs. them” mindset 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 real patriot, I have a clear idea of what that suggests and what it indicates to not be a patriot,” stated Syrett, the Rutgers professor. “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 meant that America came. Anyone versus that particular set of values was seen as a threat, even if that danger was the United States federal 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 motion culminated in the Oklahoma City Battle on April 19, 1995.
” The word patriot is regularly exploited by individuals that want to make the most of this idea 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 passion is damaged … that is taking good objectives and damaging them for the purpose of doing harm.”.
Some people who stormed the US Capitol on January 6 called themselves patriots. Woman American Patriot.
Former President Donald Trump and his child Ivanka have likewise used the word when referring to fans.
Ivanka Trump resolved 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 protected guests of his Greenville, North Carolina, rally – where members of the crowd shouted “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 saying there’s some goodness in them. It validates them.”. Woman American Patriot.
Popular culture uses patriot to show America.
In popular culture, patriot can come up with many 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 US soldiers fighting for flexibility, like those seen in 1998’s “Conserving Private Ryan.”.
Then there are those films where the characters embody America breaking an adversarial force that represents a threat to American worths, much like 1985’s “Rocky IV” or the “Captain America” storyline in the Marvel Movies of the 2010s. Woman American Patriot.
Being a patriot is “a word that addresses identity,” Sokolowski, of Merriam-Webster, stated.
” Identity is an enormously personal and political part of language,” he stated. “When it comes to identity, you’re getting to something that touches people deeply.”.
Syrett stated these films and television programs portraying patriotism are a reflection of the times and show there is an audience for such content.
” Popular culture not just motivates a modification in word meaning however it also profits from a belief that is there on the broader public,” she said.
There are also pop culture disputes around what makes up a patriot. Woman American Patriot.
There are some, for example, who would call Colin Kaepernick a patriot. The former NFL star triggered controversy after he sat in demonstration during the national anthem in 2016 for a pre-season game, saying he would not honor a song nor “show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and individuals of color.” Kaepernick’s demonstration was part of a continuing national argument about police’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 say the rioters at the US Capitol were patriots, while others might have seen them as terrorists. Woman American Patriot.
Syrett stated the discrepancy over who or what is a patriot is a battle of linguistics that has been battled because the country’s starting – when it wasn’t even agreed upon on what it meant to be American.