The Color of Fascism: Lawrence Dennis, Racial Passing, and the Rise of Right-Wing Extremism in the United States

By Gerald Horne | Go to book overview

4

The Face—of Fascism

As the New Deal accelerated in the midst of severe deprivation, economic royalists and captains of industry were enraged at the presumed curtailing of their prerogatives. In such a feverish atmosphere Dennis found that more and more were willing to lend an ear to his prediction that fascism was the only way out. That his was becoming the none too friendly face of fascism was ironic indeed in light of the fact that when some cast their eyes upon his features, they had to stare and squint, not sure if they should believe their very eyes. For the man predicting—and these “predictions” fell just short of glowing policy prescriptions—fascism's imminence and the presumed rise of the “Aryans,” had more than a hint of ebony. Arguably and contradictorily, Dennis's countenance complicated the ascension of the regression that was fascism, though such bias about facial facades was in itself regressive. For his less than “white” face was bound to raise searching questions about the words flowing from behind his protuberant and fleshy lips. This was fortuitous in the sense that hurdles strewn in the path of fascism are easy to welcome but in another sense Dennis's fall did not address the roots of a unique U.S.style fascism, which would inexorably be fueled by racist bias, but, instead, set the stage for—possibly—its future advance.

Dennis, perhaps because of his at times gruff exterior—a shield meant to repel inquiring minds who might innocently pose intractable questions about his family background—did not attract a bevy of undying, unflinching admirers. This was also true to a degree of the opposite sex though it is indubitably true that a number of women found him irresistible—though it is unclear what they would have thought if they had been able to examine his family tree.

Her attitude may have been influenced by the suited, taciturn FBI agents who confronted her, but his appropriately named former fiancée,

-59-

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The Color of Fascism: Lawrence Dennis, Racial Passing, and the Rise of Right-Wing Extremism in the United States
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Introduction - More Than Passing Strange 1
  • 1: Passing Fancy? 17
  • 2: Passing Through 31
  • 3: Fascism 44
  • 4: The Face—of Fascism 59
  • 5: Fascism and Betrayal 71
  • 6: Approaching Disaster 85
  • 7: Framing a Guilty Man? 98
  • 8: Fascism on Trial 112
  • 9: A Trial on Trial 126
  • 10: After the Fall 140
  • 11: An Isolationist Isolated? 156
  • 12: Passing On 171
  • Notes 179
  • Index 209
  • About the Author 229
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