John Whitehead's Commentary
Gimme Some Truth: John Lennon Tells It Like It Is
“You gotta remember, establishment, it’s just a name for evil. The monster doesn’t care whether it kills all the students or whether there’s a revolution. It’s not thinking logically, it’s out of control.”—John Lennon (1969)
Long before Bette Midler was roundly condemned for tweeting “Women, are the n-word of the world,” John Lennon—never one to pull his punches—proclaimed in song “Woman Is the Nigger of the World.”
Unlike Midler and the rest of the politically correct world, which refuses to say, let alone print, the word “nigger” lest they be accused of racism, Lennon didn’t just use the “n” word—he wrote a whole song about it and included it on his 1972 album Some Time In New York City.
Titled “Woman Is the Nigger of the World,” the song—with lyrics inspired and co-written by Yoko Ono—has Lennon’s brand of truth-telling stamped all over it:
Woman is the nigger of the world
Yes she is, think about it
Woman is the nigger of the world
Think about it, do something about it
We make her paint her face and dance
If she won't be a slave, we say that she don't love us
If she's real, we say she's trying to be a man
While putting her down we pretend that she is above us
Woman is the nigger of the world, yes she is
If you don't believe me take a look to the one you're with
Woman is the slave to the slaves
Ah yeah, better scream about it.
Blackballed by most radio stations, the controversial song was widely condemned as racist and anti-woman.
The song was neither.
Initially released as a single in April 1972, a month after Congress voted to add the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, “Woman Is the Nigger of the World” was Lennon’s way of calling out the hypocrisy of a world that claimed to recognized women as equals while treating them as less worthy of equal rights.
That hypocrisy is still playing out today.
As African-American civil rights activist Congressman Ron Dellums noted in his defense of the song, “If you define ‘nigger’ as someone whose lifestyle is defined by others, whose opportunities are defined by others, whose role in society is defined by others, the good news is that you don’t have to be black to be a nigger in this society. Most of the people in America are niggers.”
All these years later, not much has changed.
Women are still treated like the niggers of the world: used, abused and conveniently discarded.
And in the eyes of the American police state, most of the citizenry—black, white, brown and every shade in between—are still treated like slaves: brutalized, dehumanized, branded, chained, bought and sold like chattel, and stripped of their basic rights and human dignity.
Truth is rarely comfortable. Nor is it palatable, or polite, or politically correct.
For that matter, John Lennon, born on October 9, 1940, was rarely polite or politically correct.
Lennon was a musical genius and pop cultural icon who also happened to be a vocal peace protester and anti-war activist and a high-profile example of the lengths to which the U.S. government will go to persecute those who dare to challenge its authority.
Lennon never shied away from telling it like it is, and neither should we.
Lennon dared to speak truth to power about the government’s warmongering, and as a result, he became enemy number one in the eyes of the U.S. government, his phone calls monitored and data files collected on his activities and associations.
Until the day he died, Lennon continued to speak up and speak out.
In honor of what would have been Lennon’s 78th birthday, here are some uncomfortable truths about life in the American police state:
- The government is not our friend. Nor does it work for “we the people.”
- We no longer have a government that is “of the people, for the people and by the people.” For that matter, our so-called government representatives do not actually represent us, the citizenry. We are now ruled by an oligarchic elite of governmental and corporate interests whose main interest is in perpetuating power and control.
- The U.S. is on the brink of bankruptcy, as many economists have been warning for some time now, with more than $21 trillion in debt owned by foreign nationals and corporations.
- Elections are not exercises in self-government. They are merely manufactured illusions conjured up in order to keep the populace compliant and convinced that their vote counts and that they still have some influence over the political process. No matter which party is in control, the police state will continue to grow. In other words, it will win and “we the people” will lose.
- Twenty years ago, a newspaper headline asked the question: “What’s the difference between a politician and a psychopath?” The answer, then and now, remains the same: None. There is virtually no difference between psychopaths and politicians.
- Far from being a benevolent entity concerned with the well-being of its citizens, whether in matters of health, safety or security, the government is concerned with three things only: power, control and money.
- More than terrorism, more than domestic extremism, more than gun violence and organized crime, the U.S. government has become a greater menace to the life, liberty and property of its citizens than any of the so-called dangers from which the government claims to protect us.
- Not only does the U.S. government perpetrate organized, systematic violence on its own citizens, especially those who challenge its authority nonviolently, in the form of SWAT team raids, militarized police, and roaming VIPR checkpoints, but it gets away with these clear violations of the Fourth Amendment because the courts grant them immunity from wrongdoing.
- America’s shadow government—which is comprised of unelected government bureaucrats, corporations, contractors, paper-pushers, and button-pushers who are actually calling the shots behind the scenes right now and operates beyond the reach of the Constitution with no real accountability to the citizenry—is the real reason why “we the people” have no control over our government.
- You no longer have to be poor, black or guilty to be treated like a criminal in America. All that is required is that you belong to the suspect class—that is, the citizenry—of the American police state. As a de facto member of this so-called criminal class, every U.S. citizen is now guilty until proven innocent.
- By gradually whittling away at our freedoms—free speech, assembly, due process, privacy, etc.—the government has, in effect, liberated itself from its contractual agreement to respect our constitutional rights while resetting the calendar back to a time when we had no Bill of Rights to protect us from the long arm of the government.
- Private property means nothing if the government can take your home, car or money under the flimsiest of pretexts, whether it be asset forfeiture schemes, eminent domain or overdue property taxes. Likewise, private property means little at a time when SWAT teams and other government agents can invade your home, break down your doors, kill your dog, wound or kill you, damage your furnishings and terrorize your family.
- If there is an absolute maxim by which the federal government seems to operate, it is that the American taxpayer always gets ripped off.
- Americans are powerless in the face of militarized police.
- Our freedoms—especially the Fourth Amendment—continue to be choked out by a prevailing view among government bureaucrats that they have the right to search, seize, strip, scan, spy on, probe, pat down, taser, and arrest any individual at any time and for the slightest provocation.
- The U.S. is following the Nazi blueprint to a “t,” whether through its storm trooper-like police in the form of heavily armed government agents to its erection of an electronic concentration camp that not only threatens to engulf America but the rest of the world as well.
- The United States of America has become the new battlefield. In fact, the only real war being fought by the U.S. government today is the war on the American people, and it is being waged with deadly weapons, militarized police, surveillance technology, laws that criminalize otherwise lawful behavior, private prisons that operate on quota systems, and government officials who are no longer accountable to the rule of law.
- And finally, as Lennon shared in a 1968 interview: “I think all our society is run by insane people for insane objectives… I think we’re being run by maniacs for maniacal means. If anybody can put on paper what our government and the American government and the Russian… Chinese… what they are actually trying to do, and what they think they’re doing, I’d be very pleased to know what they think they’re doing. I think they’re all insane. But I’m liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That’s what’s insane about it.”
These are truths about looming problems that cannot be glibly dismissed by political spin.
These problems will continue to plague our nation unless and until Americans wake up to the fact that we’re the only ones who can change things for the better and then do something about it.
After all, the Constitution opens with those three vital words, “We the people.”
What this means is there is no government without us—our sheer numbers, our muscle, our economy, our physical presence in this land. There can also be no police state—no tyranny—no routine violations of our rights without our complicity and collusion—without our turning a blind eye, shrugging our shoulders, allowing ourselves to be distracted and our civic awareness diluted.
While Lennon believed in the power of the people, he also understood the danger of a power-hungry government. “The trouble with government as it is, is that it doesn’t represent the people,” observed Lennon. “It controls them.”
Stop being controlled.
For the moment, the power, as Lennon recognized, is still in our hands.
“The people have the power, all we have to do is awaken that power in the people,” concluded Lennon. “The people are unaware. They’re not educated to realize that they have power. The system is so geared that everyone believes the government will fix everything. We are the government.”
For the moment, the choice is still ours: slavery or freedom, war or peace, death or life.
As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the point at which we no longer have any choice is the point at which the monsters—the maniacs, the powers-that-be, the establishment, the Police State, the Deep State—win.