The decade's most triggering comedy
The Associated Press kicked off the Independence Day celebrations on Tuesday with an article explaining why the word “patriot” has become problematic in recent years.
In the article, the outlet argued that the word had been overtly political and taken up by extremist groups, used in ways that made it less about love for the country and more about hatred for certain minority groups.
“The term ‘patriot’ in America has become infused in political rhetoric and school curriculums, with varying meanings, while also being appropriated by white nationalist groups,” the outlet tweeted along with a link to the full piece.
The term ‘patriot’ in America has become infused in political rhetoric and school curriculums, with varying meanings, while also being appropriated by white nationalist groups. https://t.co/UO2stwBz51
— The Associated Press (@AP) July 4, 2023
“Today, the word and its variants have morphed beyond the original meaning. It has become infused in political rhetoric and school curriculums, with varying definitions, while being appropriated by white nationalist groups,” the article alleged, using data from the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center to support the idea that radical right-wing extremists had coopted the word. “Trying to define what a patriot is depends on who is being asked.”
Citing the Capitol Riot on January 6th, 2021, Louisiana State University historian Gaines Foster said that extremist groups were beginning to focus on a more revolutionary meaning of the word, saying, “People began to lean less toward a commitment to democracy and more to the notion in the Declaration of Independence that there is a ‘right of revolt,’ and that becomes patriotism.”
Critics were quick to point out that the timing of the article — if not the subject matter itself — was suspect.
“Just can’t help themselves,” Chad Felix Greene tweeted.
“AP can’t even take a break from dividing Americans on Independence Day. Pathetic,” another said.
“AP desperately tries to malign the word ‘patriot’ on #4thofJuly. Only thing it does is remind us how much they hate the U.S. #Patriots,” Andy Martin responded.