Q: How many times was Dr. King arrested?
A: He was arrested 30 times.
Or go read Letter From a Birmingham Jail: http://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.h...
It was a letter rooted in anger: http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/16/us/king-birmingham-jail-letter...
In it, he writes: "Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word 'tension.' I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth."
And of course part of what helped MLK's public standing was that there were much more radical people than him. Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam shifted the Overton Window enough that MLK could look reasonable.
My point here is that social change is never comfortable, never easy, and certainly never welcomed by the bulk of the privileged group. Asking activists to be quieter and nicer is pointless; they already know what that gets them, which is being ignored. Which they've already had a bellyful of, or they wouldn't be activists.
People forced Paul Graham to confront the issue. And as he's a visible leader of the startup community, they're forcing everybody to confront it. Will that alienate some number of people? Sure. Would they have been advocates for change anyhow? Nope.
Ask yourself: what did those "more and more resentful" people look like in the civil rights era? Now ask yourself: is that the group you'd like to be remembered as being a part of?
The number of arrests have much more to do with the type/style of protest that they engaged in than it has to do with some nebulous concept of "social behaviour". The reason why MLK and his followers were confident that their tactics would lead to success is because they could force arrests for plainly absurd and not anti-social actions. Force arrests while "behaving well". Instead of getting arrested for smashing police cars, or firebombing businesses owned by racists, they got themselves arrested for things like sitting in a restaurant.
Perfectly as in "perfectly good in my books", not perfectly legal or Mother Teresa like.
In fact in my very next sentense I lament that they present him as much more timid for how dynamic he was.