Here's how the world reacted to Justin Trudeau's 21-second pause
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's now famous 21-second pause at Tuesday's press conference has made global headlines around the world, provoking a flurry of responses — even from Reverand Al Sharpton.
Some people are saying that the pause is a serious silence that condemns President Donald Trump's actions in the United States. Others are calling the seconds "excruciating" and comparing the Prime Minister to a deer struck dumb by car headlights.
Some people on social media are even calling it a bit of orchestrated political theatre.
This was quite the moment. Trudeau was asked outright to comment on Trump calling for military action against protestors and the tear gassing of protestors to make space for a photo op.— Rachel Gilmore (@atRachelGilmore) June 2, 2020
He takes a very long pause, about 20 seconds. Watch.
More: https://t.co/gDsnZulB1L. pic.twitter.com/mfC6XbdTVu
And Reverend Al Sharpton, an American Baptist Minister and activist who will deliver the eulogy at George Floyd's memorial service on Thursday, is simply calling Trudeau out.
On Thursday, Sharpton criticized Trudeau while answering a question from a Canadian reporter.
"It's a new day. The time has made the moment of change in America, and I'm going to express that in my eulogy," Sharpton said. "And since you're from Canada, I won't have a 21-second gap before I say what I have to say."
Good Lord..... Al Sharpton throwing some wicked shade at Prime Minister Trudeau in this clip... brutal pic.twitter.com/pdLa6AZpDh— 𝙱𝚛𝚢𝚊𝚗 𝙿𝚊𝚜𝚜𝚒𝚏𝚒𝚞𝚖𝚎 (@BryanPassifiume) June 4, 2020
And Sharpton isn't the only one that commented on the incident; on Wednesday evening, American talk-show host James Corden also critiqued Trudeau, albeit more jokingly.
"I honestly thought the video was frozen," Corden said. "Somebody needs to unplug the Prime Minister and then plug him back in. In the time it took for him to give an answer you could have watched an entire series on Quibi."
Corden then made the clip "more forgiving" by asking Trudeau questions relating to melting ice cream, Goofy and Pluto, and Vin Diesel's haircare.
A number of other politicians and influential figures have also weighed in on Trudeau's contentious pause.
Former U.S. Ambassador to Canada Bruce A. Heyman took to Twitter to defend Trudeau's pause, writing, "Sometime[s] silence says more than words."
Heyman's comment is attached to a New York Times article that criticizes Trump's leadership, saying that Canadians have been "watching in shock as the country they've long considered their closest friend and protector now seems like a crazed, erratic and dangerous stranger."
Sometime silence says more than words. https://t.co/frKnggrrYV— Bruce A. Heyman (@BruceAHeyman) June 4, 2020
In Canada, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said on Tuesday that Trudeau's 21-second pause means "nothing."
A long pause means nothing.— Jagmeet Singh (@theJagmeetSingh) June 2, 2020
Silence won't confront anti-Black racism, actions will.
I asked the Prime Minister if he would end the racial profiling of Black people in Canada.
He refused to answer.
That is his only moment of silence that we should be discussing today. pic.twitter.com/9dXYO7Vi7b
A number of other NDP party members have also spoken out against Trudeau's pause, including Winnipeg MP Leah Gazan and Northern Manitoba MP Niki Ashton.
"Twenty seconds of silence? Trump is a fascist with ties to the KKK. Call his actions out @JustinTrudeau [and] @cafreeland," Gazan wrote.
Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet said on Tuesday that Trudeau "needs a spine" and should "show some courage" by condemning President Donald Trump's actions in the U.S., per CBC.
The Prime Minister’s refusal to denounce Trump is part of the problem. Trump is a fascist and a racist and he must be called out. Speak up. https://t.co/1SBGOKZenJ— Niki Ashton (@nikiashton) June 2, 2020
In contrast, Former Canadian Foreign Policy Advisor Roland Paris took to Twitter to indirectly back Trudeau's long pause on Wednesday, writing, "Everyone in this country understood the meaning of those 21 seconds of silence."
Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland also supported Trudeau's 21-second pause, telling reporters on Wednesday that she thought it was "excellent, and it was eloquent."
Deputy Prime Minister @cafreeland, on Trudeau's response on Trump's protest handling - including the 21 seconds of silence heard around the world - had this to say:— Rachel Gilmore (@atRachelGilmore) June 3, 2020
“I think the prime minister’s answer yesterday was excellent, and it was eloquent.”
More: https://t.co/gDsnZulB1L pic.twitter.com/rutUssyK8d
When asked on Thursday about his long pause, Trudeau once more avoided mentioning Trump, but told reporters that he's defending Canada's interests.
"My job as prime minister is to stand up for Canadians' values, to express those values, and to ensure that I'm standing up for Canadians' interests as well," he said. "And I'm defending those interests."
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