President Donald Trump shocked the world in the past week with his response to protests and unrest at the murder of unarmed Black man George Floyd by police.
Trump threatened state violence against protestors, referred to them as "thugs," quoted historical racist threats to shoot looters and deployed tear gas against peaceful protestors in order to clear the way for a photo opportunity at Saint John's Episcopal Church.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was asked by reporters about Trump's response to the protests.
Trudeau's silence spoke volumes.
Trudeau paused for over 20 awkward seconds before saying:
"We all watch in horror and consternation what's going on in the United States. It is a time to pull people together, but it is a time to listen. It is a time to learn what injustices continue despite progress over years and decades. But it is a time for us as Canadians to recognize that we too have our challenges. That Black Canadians and racialized Canadians face discrimination as a lived reality every single day."
Trudeau, whose own history of brownface embroiled him in a scandal, continued:
"There is systemic discrimination in Canada, which means our system treats Canadians of color, Canadians who are racialized differently than they do others. It is something that many of us don't see, but it is something that is a lived reality for racialized Canadians. We need to see that not just as government and take action, but we need to see that as Canadians. We need to be allies in the fight against discrimination."
The pause and the following answer generated buzz on Twitter.
@mcquillanator That pause was all of us rn— Siobhan T. Myers (@Siobhan T. Myers)1591127737.0
@ABC I like the pause...... to think...— YsOne♡Gem (@YsOne♡Gem)1591161354.0
@ABC I respect him so much. I long for this kind of leadership in the U. S. https://t.co/nztmXbSdVv— L. Nicole Blair (@L. Nicole Blair)1591161932.0
@ABC Ah! A statesman truly! Godbless Trudeau copiously- Amen!— Lateef Mohammed Khan(unkempt me) (@Lateef Mohammed Khan(unkempt me))1591165496.0
Some from the United States enjoyed the thoughtful answer which has come to feel so rare.
@MuhammadLila So is Canada going to accept American refugees? Asking for 200+ million friends.— Andrea Nikischer (@Andrea Nikischer)1591116477.0
@MuhammadLila Our allies are no longer laughing at us. They are stunned and horrified. #AmericaOrTrump— Jane Preziosi (@Jane Preziosi)1591116582.0
@MuhammadLila As a 60 year old white American man, watching this response from a respected world leader made me...… https://t.co/6ilb3R3dHA— Brent O (@Brent O)1591117256.0
How far the United States has fallen, especially with our longtime allies.