Are you a patriotic Kenya? read and find out

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Patriotism means supporting and being responsible for your family, your community and all levels of government with your willingness to work, to volunteer, to pay your share of taxes and pay with your life if need be. Patriotism is the love for your own identity.

The question of how people themselves evaluate patriotism has largely been overlooked. However, it is regarded as a positive or negative phenomenon. Less is known about how diverse groups view patriotism. Patriotism is endorsed differently by different groups in a country.

The notion of patriotism has been the subject of much debate by political theorists and empirical studies. Normatively, some contend that, functioning as a form of cement holding diverse societies together, and fosters committed and engaged citizenry (Virola 1995; Taylor 2002; Brubaker 2004; Muller 2007). Some argue that patriotism is crucial for minority integration and social cohesion in the face of increasing diversity. Others argue that patriotism fuels bigotry, chauvinism, and conflict (Nusbaum 2002; Kateb 2006), serving as a tool to marginalize and exclude minorities. Patriotism is then viewed in both negative and positive terms.

Some of the positive patriotism impacts is but not limited to;

• Identity: It enables us identify closely with the group we belong to.
• Loyalty: a strong feeling of support or allegiance towards your country.
• Self Esteem: Patriotism builds up self-worth of a person and the sense to belong in a certain community, country or organizations.
The negative impacts of patriotism
• Exclusivity: This is where you put the interest of the country you are patriotic to as a priority. You can support Russia if your allegiance lies with America.
• Violence: Patriotism can lead to acts of violence if properly not regulated.
• Racial profiling: It is the act of suspecting or targeting a person of a certain race on the basis of observed or assumed characteristics or behavior of a racial or ethnic group, rather than on individual suspicion.
• Racial attacks: Patriotism can degenerate to killings and attacks on innocent people. Hitler is the perfect example of it.

According to Boulder Weekly a Canadian Newspaper;
If you support a country that believes it’s OK to imprison or kill those who disagree with you, or stone and murder women who dare leave their home without their heads covered, then your patriotism pretty much stinks.
But if you live in a country that supports the rights of all individuals equally to say what they want, write what they want, read what they want, love who they want, worship however they want and protest peacefully against anything they want — in other words, a place that encourages and honors freedom — then patriotism can be a positive thing.

The writer continues to say;
“Patriotism is sort of a confusing concept because right and wrong can be very different depending on how you see the world. Patriotic people in other places who support their countries doing things that we in the U.S. find abhorrent — like cutting the hand off a hungry child who steals a piece of bread — are still patriots so long as they believe what their country is doing is good and correct and offer their vigorous support. It really all boils down to one’s definition of “country.”

In conclusion, Patriotism can be positive or negative according to how people perceive it in different dire situations.

Opinion by Maryan Hajir.

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