When we talk about systemic, structural, or institutionalized inequality, it can be hard for some to understand what those terms even mean. In a racial context in the U.S., the idea is that oppression like slavery and Jim Crow laws, racist policies like redlining, and the racism in scientific, medical, and educational and other fields erected various barriers for Black Americans. The laws or policies may have changed, but those changes didn't automatically dismantle all the barriers that went along with them.

Such barriers are invisible, though, and when you aren't impacted by them you might not even see them at all, or understand what it's like to be on the other side of them. That's where analogies come in handy.

TikTok creator @tavitalkstrash shared a video skit that illustrates how systemic inequality works with a metaphor of a fence and fruit trees.

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