Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington, D.C, on June 11. Photo: Yui Gripas/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday denounced a debate on racism and police brutality in the U.S. held by the United Nations Human Rights Council, pointing out that China's authoritarian state is a member of the body.

Why it matters: A widespread push for police reform has swept multiple cities and states across the U.S. in response to massive Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality after George Floyd's killing.

What they're saying: "The @UN_HRC debate on policing and race in the U.S. marks a new low for that body," Pompeo tweeted on Saturday. "Our vigorous, ongoing civic discourse is a sign of our democracy’s strength and maturity. We were right to leave this joke of a 'human rights' forum comprised of Venezuela & recently, Cuba & China."

  • "Americans work through difficult societal problems openly, knowing their freedoms are protected by the Constitution and a strong rule of law," the secretary of state added.
  • “The tragic events of 25 May in Minneapolis in the US which led to the death of George Floyd led to protests throughout the world against injustice and police brutality that persons of African descent face on a daily basis in many regions of the world," Dieudonné W. Désiré Sougouri, Burkina Faso's coordinator of the UN African Group, said while proposing the debate on Monday.
  • “This is why the African Group calls upon the Human Rights Council to organize an Urgent Debate on current violations of human rights that are based on racism, systemic racism, police brutality against persons of African descent and violence against peaceful demonstrations to call for an end to be put to these injustices," Faso said.

The bottom line: Through video footage of some U.S. protests and Floyd's killing, a reality for black people has become increasingly apparent — that law enforcement sometimes doesn't tell the whole truth when they injure civilians.

Go deeper: Top State Department official resigns over Trump's response to racial injustice

Go deeper

Race's media moment

Photo Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Photo by David J. & Janice L. Frent/Corbis via Getty Images, NY Daily News via Getty Images, Bettmann / Contributor, Dave Rushen/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images, Star Tribune via Getty Images.

Across every type of media — music, television, books, podcasts and more — messages about fighting systemic racism and driving social change are topping the charts and dominating the country's attention span.

Why it matters: Just as the late 1960s propelled new soundtracks, movies and shows about social justice, media today will serve as a lasting record of this moment in America's history.

Updated Jun 19, 2020 - Axios Events

Watch: A conversation to commemorate Juneteenth

On Friday, June 19, Axios' markets reporter Dion Rabouin hosted a discussion on the history of Juneteenth and the current nationwide protests against police violence, featuring former Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, BET founder Robert Johnson and activist DeRay Mckesson.

Robert Johnson discussed the history of Juneteenth and his advocacy around reparations.

  • On reparations and race relations: "Reparations is a demand on the part of African-Americans that we be made whole for the wealth that was stolen from slaves over a 300 year period...My position is that white America should recognize the debt and black Americans should be proud to accept the atonement."
  • How slavery laid the foundation for racial income inequality: "It is no secret that the net income of a white family is $170,000 on average. The net income of a black family is $17,000. That 10-fold disparity can be traced directly back to the wealth transfer that started with slave labor."

Mayor Sylvester Turner focused on policy decisions around policing in Houston, and responded to calls for defunding the police.

  • On his decision to increase police funding: "We need policing. [People] are asking for good policing. They're asking for a policing system that's accountable. They're also going beyond that...They want to be investing in communities and neighborhoods that have been overlooked and under invested in for decades."

Valerie Jarrett discussed the ongoing demonstrations around the country and the upcoming election in November.

  • On the importance of civil rights during this political moment: "We need a robust civil rights division...in deciding how you want to vote, you should say, are the people who are in office actually worrying about the civil rights of all Americans and not just some Americans?"
  • On how to make cultural progress: "It's not good enough to just say, 'Look, I'm not a racist.' What you have to say is: 'What am I going to do to help change our culture, to make it better?' There's something that we can all do individually. There's certainly something the business community can do."

DeRay Mckesson highlighted how the present moment invites people to reimagine the concept of safety.

  • "The question is not police, no police. The question is like, how do I stay safe and what does safety look like? The police are not the best answer to that. The police aren't the only answer to that. And the police shouldn't be the answer that we fund when we think of that question."

Thank you Bank of America for sponsoring this event.

Senate Democrats call GOP police reform bill "not salvageable"

Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Democratic Sens. Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, along with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday stating that Senate Republicans' police reform bill is "not salvageable."

Why it matters: The bill comes amid a national reckoning over police brutality and systemic racism spurred by the killing of George Floyd, but Capitol Hill's gridlock over the best path forward might torpedo any real legislative action on the issue at the moment.