First black Air Force chief's emotional remarks on George Floyd

The U.S. Senate confirmed Brown on Tuesday (June 9) as the first African-American military service chief as the armed forces - and the country as a whole - grapple with questions about racial inequality.

The vote was 98-0, as Vice President Mike Pence made an unusual appearance presiding over the Republican-led chamber.

During a video speech called "Here's what I'm thinking about" that has gathered over 3 million views on the PACAF twitter feed, Brown talked about how he was "often the only African American in my squadron or, as a senior officer, the only African American in the room" and of wearing the same flight suit with wings pinned on his chest as his squadron yet being asked if he was a pilot.

Brown started nearly every sentence with "I'm thinking about" to introduce memories and anecdotes from his personal experience. He concluded expressing hope that his confirmation would make a positive difference after centuries of racism in the United States.

Brown, 58, is currently commander of the Pacific Air Forces.

There have been waves of protests across the United States and other countries over the past two weeks sparked by the May 25 death of George Floyd, a black man killed while in Minneapolis police custody after an allegation that he had used a counterfeit $20 bill to buy cigarettes. Floyd's funeral was taking place in Houston on Tuesday.