Pretty Like a White Boy: Experience as a Caucasian-Ojibway Man in Canada

In Drew Hayden Taylor's article "Pretty Like a White Boy," he discusses his experience as a Caucasian-Ojibway man in Canada. His ethnic background is manifest in his blue eyes and light skin, which conceal his Native American heritage. At one point, he jokes, "I'd make a great undercover agent for one of the Native political organizations" (Taylor, 1992). In fact, his ability to blend in with the white majority exposes him to three types of racism: passive, or unconscious, racism, institutional racism, and horizontal racism.

The first form of racism Taylor encounters is passive, or unconscious, racism, a widely prevalent phenomenon. "Examples include telling a racist joke, using a racial epithet, or believing in the inherent superiority of Whites" (Whited, n.d.). Taylor's cab driver, who said, "If you're not careful, all you'll get is drunk Indians" (Taylor, 1992), is guilty of passive racism. Since the cab driver assumed Taylor was white, he felt comfortable to make a racist comment about Native Americans. In Canada, where the majority of the population is Caucasian, it is easy to see how the idea of passive racism can exist; if t



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