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Imagine there’s no secrets

Imagine there’s no racism. John Lennon did, according to a report today which says he was “ashamed” of the racist taunts endured by his wife Yoko Ono.

The story, originating from the news agency WENN, says:

In a piece penned by Lennon before his death in 1980, he writes, “Having been brought up in the genteel poverty of a lower middle-class environment, I should not have been surprised by the outpouring of race-hatred to which we were subjected in that bastion of democracy, Great Britain.

“It was hard for Yoko to understand, having been recognised all her life as one of the most beautiful and intelligent women in Japan. The racism and sexism were overt. I was ashamed of Britain.”

Of course some people remember that solidarity the legendary Beatle showed towards Britain’s most prominent race activist at the time, Michael de Frietas, dubbed by the press “Michael X.”

De Frietas was the last man to be hanged by Britain (after the death penalty had been abolished), for the murder of a young white woman who was the daughter of a Conservative MP.

In 2008, the New Nation newspaper, which I edited at the time, questioned why – if the case was straightforward – the British state were still keeping files on the case under lock and key even though the normal ‘30 year rule’ would have seen them released in 2005.

In fact, the British government have kept the “X Files” shut for 75 years – meaning we’ve still got another long 40 years to wait to discover the truth.

Surely if Lennon was alive today, he’d not just be ashamed of racism, but of the way the state has treated the activist he befriended.

By Lester Holloway


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