GEORGE Floyd’s murder is not “surprising”, “unbelievable” or “shocking”. The acts of police brutality inflicted on black people, fuelled by white supremacy and anti-blackness, in America and across the world is not shocking.

It has never been shocking. When I was sitting at this same computer in 2014 trying to articulate the grief of Eric Garner and Michael Brown Jr in a word document, I did not feel shocked. I felt heartbroken and hopeless.

History can easily explain why we should not be shocked, because what is happening is not new, it is not an isolated incident or an American problem.

It is the past, present and future. I do not think we need history to tell us why we should feel sad, and angry and outraged and scared. We do not need another murder to feel those things.

The National: In 2014 Eric Garner died after being put in a chokehold by an NYPD officerIn 2014 Eric Garner died after being put in a chokehold by an NYPD officer

But that is what has done it. George Floyd’s murder created a social media blackout. On Tuesday, my Instagram was full of black squares accompanied with #blackouttuesday.

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The rest of the past week has been an incredibly jarring and surreal experience, seeing white people congratulating each other for or writing hashtag Black Lives Matter, “speaking out”, acknowledging their white privilege, or sharing the “resources” they have been using to listen, learn and reflect.

Listen, learn and reflect. But there have been – there are – plenty of opportunities to listen, learn and reflect. Like when Sheku Bayoh died in 2015 after being restrained in police custody or when you get off the train at Glasgow Queen Street and walk along Buchanan Street or when you learn Scotland has never had a Black MSP or an advert for a short film about Scotland’s involvement in the transatlantic slave trade is released or when you look around your office and realise that there are only white people there or when you read the headline that BAME people are more likely to die from Covid-19 than their white counterparts.

Moments similar to this have happened before. A documentary comes out, a video goes viral or a celebrity makes a racist statement. Black voices and experts are requested on national platforms to explain racism, answering questions: “Is Scotland racist?” “How is Scotland racist?” and “What examples of racism can you give us?” Then, just as suddenly as the conversations begun, they disappear, again forgotten. The listening, learning and reflecting finished until next time. Outside the communities and spaces we have had to seek out, our experiences are invalidated, forgotten or erased.

READ MORE: 'Black people's murder is too close to home, wherever it is in the world'

SCOTLAND is very good at saying “racism is not a problem here” by using foreign examples, or including white minorities under the term BAME which in turn shuts down conversations around racism and anti-Blackness, whilst just throwing experiences, that may be similar, together. That is the discomfort I have with the solidarity or outrage that is being expressed.

Solidarity is important and beautiful, and it is vital. But it is equally vital that same solidarity is shared with the person who lives two doors along from you and it is important you take ownership over it. Understanding your role.

The conversation, or shared experience of being black in Scotland, is often one of loneliness. We have had to work very hard to find communities and spaces where we can truly be ourselves. For a long time, we feel unseen, unheard and ignored and unsafe. Often entering spaces as the “only one” or one of a few, acts of racism and a multitude of micro-aggressions experienced become part of our norm. When we have needed it, solidarity has been nowhere to be seen, and allies quiet.

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What has been hopeful is the unapologetic sharing of lived realities without self-censorship or fear of backlash or being gaslighted. Angry, sad and silenced voices with a revitalised energy that is being fuelled into community organising both online and offline.

I really believe that although the dust will settle, the momentum that has come from George Floyd’s murder has the potential to be sustained. What that will look like, I am unsure. It may be practical and systemic changes and re-creation, or it might be a completely new structure entirely.

Tomiwa Folorunso is a freelance writer and creative who specialises in digital communications and project design and delivery