imo John was a very mixed bag, an enigma, like most kids in that period he was brought up by racist people, I grew up in Manchester England in the 60's, a city 30 miles from Liverpool and with similar values, my parents didnt like coloured immigrants coming into England from India & Pakistan etc taking jobs away from English people, they voiced their opinions just like all our neighbours did so theyre kids grew up saying similar things. Of course John also had all the other problems he had re his bad parents and grew up with a chip on his shoulder, he had a bad temper and I could imagine him kicking in a public phone box or slapping Cynthia if she answered him back etc etc on the other side he could be warm & gentle and write poetry and beautiful love songs.
In the early 60's (I remember it) he was the driving force behind the biggest band in the world, he came over as the leader, he was a very funny guy in interviews and people warmed to his seemingly magnetic personality, he seemed to have a deeper side though (a certain honesty) and fans tapped into this, I think people perceived him to be an intricate genius who could denounce his work one minute as crap, but then proclaim it as great, one minute The Beatles were the greatest biggest band ever, 6 months later they were just big bastards.
I think this is how his mind worked, he changed his mind about things and then his honesty (when a mike was stuck in front of him) took over and he said what he was feeling at that moment. Not always thinking who it could hurt.
John was a flawed genius, but fans of him (like me) are mesmerised by him, by his personality, his songs (like Tomorrow Never Knows/Walrus/Lucy/SFForever) definitely changed popular music in the 60's imo. They may not seem that revolutionary now but back then they were incredible.