According to a report by Gallup Politics, only 47% of adults in the U.S. are proud to be American and since 2013 that number has been on a decline. The expression and meaning of patriotism have failed to progress in order to reflect the current social inequalities, factor in the growing number of immigrants, and is too closely associated with the political climate, generating a need for a redefined word.
Merriam Webster defines patriotism as “devoted love, support, and defense of one’s country; national loyalty” and because the old version of patriotism is based off of traditional ideals it fails to encompass support for those fighting against social inequalities that are being battled today. Author Howard Bryant stated that the double standards set “In a time of flag and flyovers, camouflage jerseys and a president calling his citizens un-American, authoritarianism as patriotism has become the abnormal normal” (Bryant). As the current use of the words continues to put aside the concerns of or views of other, it will remain a restrain towards progressive thinking. Instead of allowing peaceful protest and demonstrations for the alarming amounts of social inequalities to all sorts of people and groups, Americans use the word patriotism to try and negate their actions and movement. Patriotism should empower people to speak up against the injustices happening in the country and not be one of the factors that try and silence them.
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As more people immigrate to the U.S. patriotic feelings in some Americans can generate mistrust and hostility toward those from other countries or races because the history of patriotism has been mostly intertwined with nationalism.
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