If you’re not sure how to define white privilege, look no further than the fancy new job convicted felon Mike Flynn just took with a global lobbying and investment advisory firm.
For most Americans, it would be hard to imagine a black man who pleaded guilty to a felony being able to somehow land a good-paying job while awaiting sentencing. But if you’re Mike Flynn, the phenomenon of white privilege can get you far.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the former National Security Adviser will be joining a new lobbying and investment advisory firm called Stonington Global LLC. The Journal reports that the firm will be providing “consulting and lobbying services for U.S. and foreign clients,” and that the company will “help private investors and sovereign wealth funds develop and execute investment strategies.”
“[Flynn] has experience all over the world. He can do a lot for us. We are very lucky to get a man like that,” Stonington Global’s Joey Allaham told the Journal.
In December, Flynn pleaded guilty to one felony count of lying to the FBI regarding conversations he had with former Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the leadup to President Trump’s inauguration. Politico reported that the talks with Kislyak included the possible lifting of sanctions imposed by former President Barack Obama in response to the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014. Such a conversation would be a violation of the Logan Act, which prohibits any private citizen from conducting diplomacy with foreign governments without approval from the U.S. government.
The success of Mike Flynn in finding employment despite a felony conviction shows that white privilege is still very much a reality in America. A 2008 report from CNN’s Soledad O’Brien found that an average black man with no criminal record and a white man with a felony conviction actually had the same chances of finding employment in New York City:
“I recently conducted a series of experiments investigating employment discrimination. In these experiments, which took place in Milwaukee and New York City, I hired young men to pose as job applicants, assigning them resumes with equal levels of education and experience, and sending them to apply for real entry-level job openings all over the city. Team members also alternated presenting information about a fictitious criminal record (a drug felony), which they ‘fessed up to’ on the application form…
“Among those with no criminal record, white applicants were more than twice as likely to receive a callback relative to equally qualified black applicants. Even more troubling, whites with a felony conviction fared just as well, if not better, than a black applicant with a clean background.”
Aside from Flynn himself, his son, Michael Flynn Jr., will also join the firm. In a statement to the Journal, the former National Security Adviser framed his new job as a form of patriotic service.
“I will work every day to put my 33 years of experience in the military and serving Presidents of both parties in the White House to good use in helping companies and governments enhance the goals of freedom and liberty,” Flynn stated.
Stonington Global LLC has not yet announced any clients.
Jake Shepherd is a freelance writer from Cleveland, Ohio. He enjoys poring through financial disclosure statements, spirited debate, and good scotch. He remains eternally optimistic about the Browns. Email him at jake.d.shepherd.21 (at) hotmail (dot) com.