Barring rarest of rare persons; the society in general or "mainstream" are either zealously supporting the muscle-flexing powers or providing passive support to them through hypocritical stance of "neutrality"! Not exactly a result of cowardice; rather popular endorsement of violence gives rise to such a pathetic mindset.
Let's take the case of Will Smith slapping Chris Rock right upon the stage of the Oscar presentation ceremony with several hundreds in audience and the live proceedings being watched by billions across the world. Smith holds every right to get offended upon Rock for cracking a joke revolving around the former's wife. He could have verbally expressed his outrage in a civilised tone, Smith could have even sued Rock in Court. But Smith doesn't hold any moral, democratic or legal right to physically abuse Rock. Yet he did commit the unpardonable shocking act. But did it truly shock the world at large! Probably not. Rather within a short period after displaying such barbarism; Smith received a thundering standing ovation from the audience on receiving the "Best Actor" award for the film 'King Richard'!
Smith might be a quality actor genuinely deserving the award, but all artistic excellence of him stands next to nil when contrasted to this ugly behaviour in front of innumerable eyes! However, exceptions do exist like Janai Nelson --- the President of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund --- who has worried aloud in a tweet that "the way casual violence was normalized tonight by a collective national audience will have consequences that we can't even fathom in the moment ". No wonder why vulgar brute individuals to leaders are gaining top popularity in every sector of the society right from the local community to the highest echelons of State power ! No wonder why megalomaniac narcissist leaders get liberally rewarded with votes and feature in top in popularity rankings despite being the utmost failure in matters of governance; their only "trump card" being bankrupt rhetoric, war mongering, relentless beating of their own drum and chest-thumping with blatant play of hate-card directed at the "enemies" and these tactics indeed capture the imagination of the society overwhelmingly! Hitler had emerged as the cynosure of the eyes of the German people through this very tactic only; but with disastrous consequences. Yet we are not ready to learn our lessons from history! So today heartless fellows rule the roost. The world enjoy sight of torture. They enjoy cuss words. Because all things violent is equivalent to strength, glamour and quality! Civility kindness is akin to weakness and callousness --- root cause of marginalisation of real gentlemen like Manmohan Singhs-Manik Sarkars!
As far as the "neutral" fence-sitters and people enjoying the sight of pain inflicted upon others are concerned(be the victims being residents of Ukraine or comedian Chris Rock), Pastor Martin Niemoller have few sane words for them --- "First they came for the Communists, And I did not speak out, Because I was not a Communist/ Then they came for the Socialists, And I did not speak out, Because I was not a Socialist/ Then they came for the trade unionists, And I did not speak out, Because I was not a trade unionist/ Then they came for the Jews, And I did not speak out, Because I was not a Jew/ Then they came for me, And there was no one left to speak out for me"! Whether they would pay heed to the Pastor's "First they came" gem or not is their prerogative, but active supporters of devilish acts and "neutral" fence-sitters(choosing the side of the oppressor) indeed invite unfathomable consequences by normalizing violence.
No wonder why great minds like Desmond Tutu to Martin Luther King have expressed their outrage over "neutrality" through their enlightening statements "If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor" and "The hottest place in hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict " respectively.
(The views expressed are personal)