In a recent piece, the Associated Press (AP) argued that the term ‘patriot’ carries a negative connotation and should be used sparingly in the context of present-day American society.
The article strategically coincided with Independence Day, a time when American patriotism is typically encouraged and celebrated.
Citing data from the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization accused of promoting hate, racism, and anti-American sentiment, the AP article suggested that “white nationalist groups” have adopted the term ‘patriot.’
According to the article, the term has evolved from its original meaning and has become intertwined with political rhetoric and school curriculums.
The article also pointed to the events of January 6th, 2021, at the Capitol as a turning point where the concept of patriotism shifted towards a right to revolt.
Louisiana State University historian Gaines Foster noted that extremist groups were embracing a more revolutionary interpretation of the word ‘patriot.’
The AP promoted the article through a tweet highlighting the term’s entanglement with political discourse, education, and its appropriation by white nationalist groups.
AP referenced various Political Science authors to bolster their argument. LaFleur Stephens-Dougan underscored the difficulties encountered by Black Americans, who possess a profound affection for their country while simultaneously grappling with the ongoing quest for equality.
Rachel Blum observed the existence of two contrasting perspectives on patriotism in contemporary society. One viewpoint portrays patriotism as a means of exclusion and discrimination, while the other perceives it as a profound concern for the well-being of the nation and its citizens.
Benjamin I. Page offered insights on the apparent contrast between authentic patriotism and the divisive language frequently observed in public discussions, proposing that genuine patriotism involves inclusivity, progress, and collaboration. This sentiment was also echoed in PressBlog.
The AP expressed concern in the article about the appropriation of the term “patriot” by pro-Trump supporters and highlighted the potential for diverse interpretations of the term, which reflects the present socio-political environment in America.
However, the article has faced notable criticism and backlash.
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