Those who support the status quo will always dismiss the people fighting for change as extremists or criminals. The truth is that the majority of decent people will not go out of their way to fight for what’s right, but will settle for what’s convenient.
Whether it’s activists fighting for civil rights, women’s rights, LGBT rights, or the climate, it’s always been the minority starting an unpopular movement that threatens the majority. The people who don’t want change will always find a reason to criticize those who do.
Here’s an excerpt from the Time article.
“The civil rights movement was deeply unpopular at the time. Most Americans thought it was going too far and movement activists were being too extreme. Some thought its goals were wrong; others that activists were going about it the wrong way—and most white Americans were happy with the status quo as it was. And so they criticized, monitored, demonized and at times criminalized those who challenged the way things were, making dissent very costly. Most modern tributes and understandings of the movement paper over the decades when activists like Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks and scores of their comrades were criticized by fellow citizens and targeted as ‘un-American,’ not just by Southern politicians but by the federal government.”