I've had four spontaneous discussions in the last two days regarding the image many progressive protesters have in the mainstream. The conversations follow the same stream of consciousness and include some version of the following rhetoric:
Can't they take a bath every once in a while?
Do they just travel around from protest to protest?
Where are all the normal people?
Ah, the usual suspects!
They don't look like they have jobs.
Protests have replaced Phish concerts!
Why do they have to go overboard?
Personally, I don't have a problem with the protesters. Then again, I'm not a person who needs convincing on the righteousness of most progressive causes.
We all know that mainstream media likes to portray groups of people in stereotypes. And the Right has their's, too. Whether or not these stereotypes are true or not is irrelevant. Perception is everything, especially if you want to sway opinion in your favor.
What can we do to change the perception the sway-ables have of us? And should we?