DL Evans awards scholarships throughout state

Now Hiring

Farm Positions Available Pasco Farming in Paul, ID is seeking qualified applicants for the following positions: Field Mechanic – Must have in depth knowledge of farm equipment AND welding/fabrication skills AND make on site repairs. Tractor Operator – Must have previous experience operating farm equipment. Irrigation Helper – Must have in depth knowledge of pivots AND be able to turn pivots on/off and get pivots unstuck. Possible housing arrangements may be available. Truck Driver (many positions) – Must have driver’s license, good driving record, AND be able to pass a drug test. Bonus available with completion of harvest. All positions require ability to troubleshoot and fix problems, work at a fast pace, AND work long hours. Pay is depending upon experience. Please send resumes to sshaw@pascofarming.com fill out an application at 590 W 900 N Paul, ID 83347 or call 208-436-7550 for more information.

Growing Dental Practice is seeking individuals to join a wonderful team in a great environment. Excellent pay 401K. Positions available: – Dental Hygienist – Dental Assistant – Front Office Staff. Please hand deliver resumes to: All Smiles Dental 515 E. 5th Street N. Burley Mon-Thurs 8am-5pm. (TFN)

Schows is in need of an Outside Sales Rep. Candidate will be responsible to build relationships with community/farms. Strongly prefer bilingual. Competitive salary $2,000/month plus commission to be discussed upon offer. Call Gilbert 431-0946. (74)

Kloepfer, Inc. immediately seeks quality employees for the position of concrete mixer driver and gravel truck driver. CDL preferred but we will train and assist the right individual in obtaining a CDL. Great pay and incredible benefits including health insurance paid by Kloepfer, Inc. for the entire immediate family. Email job history and why we should consider you to: info@kloepfer.com

General laborers. Pay $10-$18 DOE. Apply in person. 231 W. 50 S. in Rupert. IMCO Interstate Manufacturing.

Carquest of Burley has an opening for a parts counter salesperson. Those with experience in body and fender preparation, mixing paint by color codes, and bilingual are encouraged to apply in person at Carquest of Burley, 518 Overland Ave. (75)

Now Hiring Honest, Energetic, reliable people for Part time Kitchen help and Sales/Delivery positions. Call 208-438-5837 or visit the Java Lunch Box for an Application. 102 S 300 W Rupert, Id 83350. Find us on Facebook @thejavalunchbox

Help Wanted: Seamstress full-time position in Burley. Must have some sewing experience. Call 431-8786. (TFN)

The Minidoka County Republican Central Committee is accepting applications for the position of Minidoka County Clerk of the District Court. This is a full time, salaried position with a complete benefits plan that includes medical insurance and a retirement plan through PERCI. This position is open due to the impending retirement of Patty Temple, an elected clerk of the district court. Candidates should be willing to run for the office of County Clerk when the present clerks term is up in 2018. The Minidoka County Clerk of the District Court is elected for a 4-year term. Please send resume to: Minidoka County Republican Party, C/O Lucky Bourn, P.O Box 368, Rupert Idaho, 83350

Yard Sales

Living Estate Sale: Lots of furniture, antiques, household items, a lifetime of stuff. Come see what we have. Friday and Saturday 9-5 at 701 N 1250 E, Jackson (Eight miles east of Rupert). 

Estate Sale: Thursday, Friday, Saturday 9-6 590 N 300 E, Rupert. Dresser, Hutch, Antiques, Beads, Glass, Décor, Tools, Camping Gear, Fishing Poles, Tool Chest, Crafts, Milk Crates, Bottles, Books, and Much More 650-0175. (78)

Backyard Sale: 376 West 400 South, Heyburn. Friday 7/21 9am to 2 pm Saturday 7/22 7:30 to 2:30. Moved, and household items need to go! (78)

Classifieds

Harris Plumbing, NG, Do you have clogs, leaks or need repairs, softeners or a water heater? For fast, fair, friendly service Call Nathan Harris, Harris Plumbing, NG, Free Estimates! (208) 431-8633 (License #PLB-C-13347)

Heyburn Rental – 411 18th Street #6. 2bed, 2bath manufactured home. No smoking. No pets. $650 monthly $500 deposit (refundable). Available now. Call 208-650-3135(day) or 208-670-0547(evening) (67)

Call Kenny’s Tractor for your garden tilling, lawn aerating, pasture maintenance, weed mowing needs and more. Call 420-0513 (50)

Young couple seeks a house on acreage within a twenty-mile radius of Burley. Fixer-upper ok. Call Jeff Coltrin, Spring Creek Realty Group @ 702-525-5218. (78)

Partridge Park has 2 and 3 bedroom apartments available. Spacious floor plans, energy efficient appliances including central air conditioning. Hardwood flooring throughout, washer/dryer hook ups included. We also have a playground and basketball court. Stop by the office to see your new home, don’t forget to ask about our move in special! Certain income restrictions apply Call Amanda today at 878-7070.

For Rent! ​1151 Oakley, Burley, Idaho Great business/office/salon space Rent $525 Call Joe Taylor (Realtor)  River Bridge Realty (208)678-9400​ (78)

River Walk: Brand New Now Leasing! 300 West 3rd street, Burley. (208) 878-9255 FILLING QUICKLY 3  bedroom 2 bath homes, overlooking the scenic Snake River. Convenient location. Homes feature: Individual yards, spacious floor plans, central air, washer/dryer hook-ups, Income restrictions apply. This development is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

​For Sale! Burley, ID Duplex 2-3 bedrooms each $130,000 Call Joe Taylor (Realtor) for more details River Bridge Realty (208) 678-9400 (78)

River Walk: Brand New homes now leasing In Burley. (208) 878-9255. WILL FILL QUICKLY 4 bedroom, 2 bath home, overlooking the scenic Snake River. Convenient location. Features: Individual yard, spacious floor plan, central air, washer/dryer hook-up. $1,400/month plus deposit.

Call 678-6643 to place an ad today.

23 bedroom apartments with gorgeous views of the Snake River. Spacious comfortable living just a phone call away. All units include all appliances. Washer/dryer hookups. Main Floor. We offer high speed internet and cable for an additional fee. Income restrictions apply. Stop by today. Call 208-878-4488 and start living in luxury.

For Sale! Rupert, ID Single Family Home 3 bedrooms carport PRICE REDUCED! NOW $115,000 Call Joe Taylor (Realtor) for more details River Bridge Realty (208)678-9400 (78)

Home Small Business Alarm Systems by Honeywell starting at $300. Buy it locally – we install it, we monitor it – the benefits of a local company. 670-2750 Kevin’s Electronics.

2 half lots North Burley $45,000. 630 Oakley Ave. Call Joe Taylor (Realtor) for more details River Bridge Realty (208)678-9400 (78)

AMERICAN STEAM: 30% OFF! all carpet and upholstery cleaning and tile grout cleaning and sealing. 20 years experience. Stretching and full service. Auto interiors, too. Call “Bob” at: (208) 219-1652

We trim shrubs and trees or cut them down, weed and clean flower beds, clean out sheds, garages, attics and old houses. WE THEN HAUL IT ALL AWAY. Call Barry Robbins at 208-219-9653. (78)

Freedom Storage-Summer Special:  Rent 1 month, Get 1 month FREE! Up to 3 months free rent for new contracts.  5 x 10, 10 x 10, and 10 x 20 units, subject to availability.  Lock provided.  Call 438-4854 for details.

20” Mag tires wheels for a Mustang $800 obo. ’84 Corvette runs good $3,000. ’94 Chevy handicap van with lift $2,800. Call Stan 260-1940 (78)

Call 678-6643 to place your classifed ad.

Lost earring pendant, blue stone with diamond on top, lost on north side of Rupert Square on July 4th.  Please call 670-0027 if found. (78)

House for sale in Rupert, 2 bedroom 1 bath, clean, large backyard, $49,995.  Call for an appointment 208-431-5336 or 208-596-2915 (78)

Classified ads reach 15,700 local homes!

Car Headlights: Restore you headlights $35 a pair. One hour or less. Call Stan 260-1940. (78)

Free Kittens, 7 weeks old. Litter box trained, one male and one female. Need to go to a great home. Great with kids, Call 670-5870 (tfn)

Hay for sale! 6-8 ton of first crop Paul area small bales second crop by July 20th. Call 670-8305. (78)

Raspberries for sale. I am now taking orders for Red Raspberries for $4.50 a pound. I am located in Rupert. If interested please call Bobbi’s Berries at 851-1180 (78)

Kendy_LawnCare House washing one story $70, two story $120. A full service company, where quality is at the root of everything we do. Call Ken for a free estimate at (208) 670-0063 (75)

Need Soil? Need Hauling? Have excellent top soil for sale. We will haul top soil, fill dirt, gravel etc. Have trucks with drivers available for any of your hauling needs. References available. For more information contact 208-312-1137 (78)

Want to buy: Paying cash for junk cars, trucks, tractors, etc., Call 431-1216 – seven days a week, if no answer leave message (in Rupert – since 2004) Free pick up (85)

BBQ Tools Closeout all in stock Man-Law BBQ tools 25% off!!! Stars Ferry Building Supplies, Burley 678-5562. Visit www.starsferry.biz and click on “Star Items” for more info. (tfn)

CLEAN FURNISHED ROOMS ! Burley Rupert. No Contracts No Deposit ! FREE * Internet – Cable TV Laundry all included ! All Furniture/Bedding/ Towels/Fridge/Microwave Wklys starting @ $ 150 Monthly starting @ $ 500 Move in Today ! call Erika @ 431 3796 or Eric @ 731-5745 (tfn)

Real Estate- Northwest Montana- Company Owned. Small and large acre parcels. Private. Trees and meadows. National Forest boundaries. 406-293-3714. Tungstenholdings.com (78)

AKC Miniature Male Rat Terrier pups, DOB Easter, tri blues, white and chocolate, white. Vet health check, 1st shot. Parents PLL clear. Clearwater, Idaho, 208-926-4111 (72)

AFFORDABLE LIVING! Yakima, Wa. Downtown, furnished studios, rent $345-$385. All utilities included, refrigerator, microwave, twin bed, dresser, busline, secure, mini storage available. (509)248-2146 (88)

Reader Advisory: The National Trade Association we belong to has purchased the above classifieds. Determining the value of their service or product is advised by this publication. In order to avoid misunderstandings, some advertisers do not offer employment but rather supply the readers with manuals, directories and other materials designed to help their clients establish mail order selling and other businesses at home. Under NO circumstance should you send any money in advance or give the client your checking, license ID, or credit card numbers. Also beware of ads that claim to guarantee loans regardless of credit and note that if a credit repair company does business only over the phone it is illegal to request any money before delivering its service. All funds are based in US dollars. Toll free numbers may or may not reach Canada.

A-1 DONATE YOUR CAR FOR BREAST CANCER! Help United Breast Foundation education, prevention, support programs. FAST FREE PICKUP – 24 HR RESPONSE – TAX DEDUCTION 855-403-0213

CARS/TRUCKS WANTED!!! All Makes/Models 2000-2016! Any Condition. Running or Not. Top $$$ Paid! Free Towing! We’re Nationwide! Call Now: 1-888-985-1806

Got an older car, boat or RV? Do the humane thing. Donate it to the Humane Society. Call 1- 855-558-3509

Got Knee Pain? Back Pain? Shoulder Pain? Get a pain-relieving brace at little or NO cost to you. Medicare Patients Call Health Hotline Now! 1- 844-502-1809

KILL BED BUGS! Harris Bed Bug Killers/KIT. Available: Hardware Stores, The Home Depot, homedepot.com

Make a Connection. Real People, Flirty Chat. Meet singles right now! Call LiveLinks. Try it FREE. Call NOW: 1-888-909-9905 18+.

Cut the Cable! CALL DIRECTV. Bundle Save! Over 145 Channels PLUS Genie HD-DVR. $50/month for 2 Years (with ATT Wireless.) Call for Other Great Offers! 1- 855-781-1565

Spectrum Triple Play TV, Internet Voice for $29.99 ea. 60 MB per second speed No contract or commitment. We buy your existing contract up to $500! 1-855-652-9304

A PLACE FOR MOM. The nation’s largest senior living referral service. Contact our trusted, local experts today! Our service is FREE/no obligation. CALL 1-844-722-7993

HughesNet: Gen4 satellite internet is ultra fast and secure. Plans as low as $39.99 in select areas. Call 1-855-440-4911 now to get a $50 Gift Card!

Social Security Disability? Up to $2,671/mo. (Based on paid-in amount.) FREE evaluation! Call Bill Gordon Associates. 1-855-498-6323. Mail: 2420 N St NW, Washington DC. Office: Broward Co. FL., member TX/NM Bar.

Lung Cancer? And Age 60+? You And Your Family May Be Entitled To Significant Cash Award. Call 866-428-1639 for Information. No Risk. No Money Out Of Pocket.

Wants to purchase minerals and other oil and gas interests. Send details to P.O. Box 13557 Denver, Co. 80201

CASH PAID- up to $25/Box for unexpired, sealed DIABETIC TEST STRIPS. 1-DAYPAYMENT.1-800-371-1136

ADVERTISE to 10 Million Homes across the USA! Place your ad in over 140 community newspapers, with circulation totaling over 10 million homes. Contact Jay at the Weekly Mailer at 678-6643 or jay@theweeklymailer.com

SAFE STEP WALK-IN TUB alert for seniors: Bathroom falls can be fatal! Safe Step Walk-In Tub, approved by Arthritis Foundation, therapeutic jets, less than 4” step-in, wide door, anti-slip floors, American-made, installation included. Call 800-379-6390 for $750 off!

A PLACE FOR MOM. The nation’s largest senior living referral service. Contact our trusted, local experts today! Our service is FREE / no obligation. CALL 1-800-410-3371.

FAST Internet! HughesNet Satellite Internet: high-speed, available anywhere, speeds up to 15 mbps. Starting at $59.99/ month. Call for limited-time price! 1-800-450-1611

BECOME a published author! International distribution, print digital formats, books sold at major retailers. Contact Page Publishing for your free author submission kit! Call 1-800-381-3420.

Become a published author! Publications sold at all major secular specialty Christian bookstores. CALL Christian Faith Publishing for your FREE author submission kit. 1-800-615-1251

DO YOU OWE over $10,000 in back taxes? We help people resolve tax debt. $50 cash back upon sign-up. BBB Accredited. Call for a free consultation, 1-800-498-6185.

Do you have $25,000 or more in your IRA or 401k? Learn how an Augusta Gold IRA can give you an IRA you can SEE, TOUCH HOLD. Call 800-908-3542.

DISH TV 190 channels plus Highspeed Internet Only $54.94/mo! Ask about a 3-year price guarantee get Netflix included for 1 year! Call Today 1-800-593-1764

DIRECTV: NFL Sunday Ticket (free!) with Choice All-Included Package, $60/ month for 24 months, no upfront costs or equipment to buy. Ask about next day installation! 1-800-370-1356

NFL SUNDAY TICKET (FREE!) w/Choice Package – includes 200 channels. $60/mo for 12 months. No upfront costs or equipment to buy. Ask about next day installation! 1-800-453-9131

Does your auto club offer no hassle service rewards? Call Auto Club of America (ACA). Get Bonus $25 Gift Card $200 in ACA Rewards! (New members only.) 1-800-483-3934

LUNG CANCER? 60 or older? If so, you your family may be entitled to a significant cash award. Call 1-800-784-7029 to learn more. No risk, no money out of pocket.

Portable Oxygen Concentrator? May be covered by Medicare! Reclaim independence mobility with the compact design long-lasting battery of Inogen One. Free information kit! Call 800-560-3079.

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Got an older car, boat or RV? Do the humane thing: Donate it to the Humane Society. Call 1-800-419-6574

DONATE your car, truck or boat to HERITAGE FOR THE BLIND. Free 3-day vacation, tax deductible, free towing, all paperwork taken care of. Call 1-800-895-8117

SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY BENEFITS. Unable to work? Denied benefits? We Can Help! WIN or Pay Nothing! Contact Bill Gordon Associates at 1-800-317-4986 to start your application today!

Life Alert. 24/7. One press of a button sends help FAST! Medical, Fire, Burglar. Even if you can’t reach a phone! FREE Brochure. CALL 800-975-8941

GOT KNEE PAIN? Back Pain? Shoulder Pain? Get a pain-relieving brace for little or NO cost to you. Medicare patients call Health Hotline now! 1-800-903-1039

Sell your structured settlement or annuity payments for CASH NOW. You don’t have to wait for your future payments any longer! Call 1-800-218-0290

SAVE ON INTERNET TV bundles! Order the best exclusive cable satellite deals in your area! If eligible, get up to $300 in Visa gift cards. CALL NOW! 1-800-901-7715

Computer problems? Viruses, lost data, hardware or software issues? Contact Geeks On Site! 24/7 service. Friendly repair experts. Macs PCs. Call for FREE diagnosis! 1-800-971-0605

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Converts and Jihad

ISIS, rebel fighters in Syria. Photo: Screenshot

ISIS fighters pose after seizing a border crossing in Syria. Photo: Screenshot.

Muslim converts have long been especially valued by recruiters for Islamist terror groups. “Their ability to operate freely in Europe, Asia and North America without arousing the suspicion of security authorities,” a 2006 study found, makes them especially useful in executing plots. In addition, the study claimed that, “They are among the most aggressive of Islamist activists.”

More than a decade since that study was published, ISIS recruiters continue to seek out new converts. Most of this activity takes place online, according to former radical turned counterterrorism professional Mubin Shaikh, who particularly blames social media.

“The volume and speed of information communication — I think what that does is overwhelm young people,” he says. “They exist in a paradigm where kids who get bullied online go and kill themselves. Or it will be the crazy antics they [see] in videos. … I put this kind of ISIS recruitment in that category of youth being overwhelmed.”

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That is dangerous, especially when combined with the allure of a counterculture identity that, as he notes, has always been cool. “For [the converts], it’s a completely exotic thing.”

Women are especially vulnerable to this propaganda, Shaikh says. “ISIS opened the door to women. Al Qaeda gave them no role. But ISIS said, ‘you can be part of this great project called the Caliphate.’”

He describes one particularly powerful video made by a young Belgian woman — Laura Passoni — after she had gone to the Islamic State, and then managed to return. In it she explains how young women can become vulnerable to ISIS recruitment. “This white girl, she’s in love with this guy, she breaks up with him, she’s on the rebound. She hooks up with this one guy and they go on a cruise and they end up in ISIS territory. This is what they do.”

Recruiters also monitor chat rooms. “They see who makes these comments, then they go on and talk to them. It’s the same as child sex predators,”  Shaikh says. “Exactly the same.”

And because women suffering a broken heart or looking for romance are especially vulnerable, male recruiters often infiltrate dating sites, luring women with promises of the exquisite jewelry that they will receive from the handsome husbands they will meet when they arrive at the Caliphate. Passoni’s seducer, for instance, tempted her with visions of a life in a luxurious villa and the horses she would own. “He sold me a dream [that] I would have everything I wanted in Syria,” she recalls in the video.

But it isn’t just women, of course. A young non-Muslim man might marry a Muslim girl and be recruited through that relationship, as was the case with Omar Shafik Hammami, an American who was born to an Irish-American mother and Muslim father, and was raised Southern Baptist. He converted to Islam in college, moved to Canada and married a Somali immigrant before traveling to Somalia to join in the jihad there.

“I actually saw him in a Somali mosque [in Toronto],” Shaikh recalls. “I thought, ‘who is that white guy?’ He had married into the community and then got dragged into Al Shabaab. That’s how it works. They get into the network and the network drags them into something else. So it’s not just Twitter,” he adds, referring to the frequently-cited concern about social media sites where recruiting takes place. “It could be wherever.”

Abigail R. Esman, the author, most recently, of Radical State: How Jihad Is Winning Over Democracy in the West (Praeger, 2010), is a freelance writer based in New York and the Netherlands. Follow her at @radicalstates.

A Chat With Insecure’s Yvonne Orji About Comedy, Sex and Dating Woes in Season 2

Image via Getty

On Insecure, Issa Rae’s HBO comedy about black life and dating in Los Angeles, Yvonne Orji plays Molly, an ambitious, single lawyer with a hole in her heart like everyone else. The first season saw Molly warily dipping into the dating pool with little success and surviving a fractured friendship, while Season 2 finds her reluctantly exploring the benefits of therapy and seeking professional ascension as her best friend deals with her own post-breakup delusions. Yes, Lawrence is still hot, real love remains elusive for Issa and Molly, and everyone is as emotionally screwed up as ever. Here’s a lightly edited conversation I had with Orji in mid-June about Insecure’s resonance, Molly’s growth, being a committed virgin and all the hot sex on the show.


JEZEBEL: Insecure sparks so many great discussions and social media fights in black circles, like when Molly doesn’t date Jared because of his one gay experience, the whole Team Lawrence debate. What do you attribute that emotional investment to? 

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YVONNE ORJI: I think people are into it because it’s real. Because they recognize themselves or someone they know within these characters. They’ve been in some of these scenarios or are challenged to think of how they would react in some of these scenarios. Anything that registers with people makes them want to have a conversation about it, makes them have a real physical reaction to it, because it’s a familiar place.

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Do you ever worry about anything being too offensive?

For the pilot, there was a minor thing where I was like, this might be sensitive, and it didn’t even make it into the pilot so it was like, okay great. That was the only thing that made me raise my eyebrow. For the most part, the writers know. I don’t think anyone’s goal is to be offensive at any point, but it is to have real conversations. As black people, we say things in our circles. Like, how Issa talks to Molly is not how she would talk at [Issa’s job] We Got Y’all, or how Molly would talk at the law firm. For the most part, it’s a comedy. A lot of what we’re trying to do is have fun and not offend, just be truthful and honest.

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Do you want to say what that offensive thing was?

Nah. The writers do an amazing job of being equal parts funny as all-get-out and equal parts real and honest. I think this season you’re gonna see the real dramedy of this whole thing. The show has a phenomenal balance of really pulling from both worlds and having those moments of dark despair, having a comedy relief moment that’s authentic and not like, hey guys we need a joke in here, bada bing bang. I think of Episode 7 [in Season 1] when Molly’s driving Issa home from Malibu. Issa’s like, “I don’t even know what I’m gonna say [to Lawrence]” and Molly’s like, “Well practice on me.” They’re still fighting, they haven’t talked for a whole episode, and Issa starts going and Molly immediately goes “F you!” That was a choice I made. I have three older brothers and in my mind I’m thinking, how would a dude say this?I’m supposed to pretend like I’m Lawrence, so if my girl is trying to low-key apologize and we haven’t gotten anything out, I’m not here for this. So, “F you!” It took Issa by surprise. We did it two or three takes with her busting out laughing.

I feel like maybe you improvise the most because you’ve done stand-up? Or do you stick to what’s on the page?

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No, let me tell you, I probably improvise the least. Natasha [Rothwell], who’s also a writer on the show and plays Kelly—half the stuff that makes it in is her. That episode where she goes, “So, straight, straight, straight, Lee Daniels,” that was her. That’s just her brilliance. She’s a genius. I won’t spoil it for you, but in the first episode of Season 2, there’s a hysterical line that she made up on the fly and it’s foolish. For me, it’s kind of like designated improv, whereas Natasha’s off the cuff. I like to get permission. She’s in the writers’ room and they have such good banter between them that she probably has more liberty to take. But also, I’m telling you, the words on the page, as is, are just so funny that really, you just have to deliver them and you have magic.

When you were reading the script in the beginning, what were some of the themes that really got you interested?

I just thought it was fun. Like, the fact that Issa’s rapping about a broken body part [see: “Broken Pussy”]. That in and of itself, I was like, what show is this? Who’s gonna allow this? And whoever’s gonna allow this, I want to be part of this. Also, if this is what your mind is thinking in the pilot, what is the rest of the show gonna be like? I liked the honest portrayal of both of their work lives. I loved the honest portrayal of Issa in this environment where she’s the only black person but they’re helping underserved communities which are mostly made up of brown people and having to navigate that space. I know that space. And then having Molly, who is the only black face in a majority white, corporate institution and having to navigate: okay, when I’m in the garage with the security people I can be my black self from Inglewood but when I’m up on the 14th floor I have to be like “Hey guys!” and put on the happy face.

Image via HBO/ Justina Mintz

Right, the dynamic of black people in white workspaces is still new to see on TV.

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Molly has some deep-rooted things that she needs to get over. But it’s like, dang you think you’re winning but you not. And how do you circumvent that? That was something beautiful to want to explore. Because so many women in their 20s and 30s are doing this right now. This is like a right nowshow. In 2017, speak to any group of women, black or white or any other race and they’re experiencing something very similar. I get white girls, Asian girls, who come up to me and say how much they love the show and identify with it and it speaks to them. The thing about it is it speaks to everybody in a different way. You get what you get from it because of where you are and the conversations you’re having.

It shows how much black stories are universal, though sometimes Hollywood can make it seem so niche. People have pointed out the similarities between Insecure and Girlfriends. What do you think is different about Issa and Molly’s dynamic in comparison to other black friendships you’ve seen on TV?

I mean, I think this show builds on those depictions that we’ve seen. Part of Issa’s reasoning for wanting to create a show like that is because she grew up seeing the kids from Hillman College inA Different World. Freddie and Cam and Whitley–they’re all different. You knew what you were gonna get from Kim and you were hoping that Kim and Ron finally got together. Same thing with Khadijah and all those girls [on Living Single]. Obviously, being on a premium cable network, you get to explore different dynamics and you get to speak in a certain way.

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You get to call each other the N word.

Yeah, you get to speak in a way that’s authentic to the community that you are in and, again, it’s not for everyone. ’Cause there are people who still have issues with the fact that these two educated black girls curse so much on cable network.

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I love it.

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But then some people are just like, that’s how me and my girlfriends talk. Issa was very smart in saying this is not a show for every black person. Just because you’re black does not mean Insecure is gonna be your favorite show. A lot of times, advertising and corporate marketing will want to be like, this is the catchall and this is the show for every black girl. And it’s like, nah, Sway, this is not the show for every young black girl because there are people who don’t identify with what Issa or Molly go through. There are people who don’t identify with a man like Lawrence for whatever reason. A lot of times, we feel pressured to like something because it’s black or to support something because it’s black. Because if we don’t do it, then we’re never gonna get another show. That’s just so much pressure as opposed to “maybe let me check it out.”

People had an issue with the fact that it was called Insecure. Like, “Wow, really HBO, you finally give a black girl a TV show and then you make it Insecure? Why can’t it be called Powerful.” Well, she’s an awkward black girl. Every human, I don’t care who you are—Beyoncé has insecurities. Oprah has woken up and felt insecure in her life. I think for so long black women and black men, black people, have not had the ability to be portrayed as just okay to be themselves [on TV], flaws and all. Because they feel if anybody gets an inside peek to our flaws they’ll use it against us and try to keep us down. We can be all those things.

And that comes with quantity. It helps that there are more shows with black female leads. Like, I’m a huge fan of Chewing Gum. There’s Being Mary Jane, and Jessica Williams has a movie coming out on Netflix. We’re seeing a variety of images as far as black women dating on TV. We did not have that a few years ago. So I wanted to ask you about the importance of how Molly’s character contributes to this image of black people trying to find love.

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The dating experience is my world. I’m a hopeful romantic. Even though I’m single, I really liken my career trajectory to what my love life trajectory could be like. While you’re in the Sunken Place, it feels like this is the pits. But then when you come out of it on the other side and you’re like, look at Jesus. I literally went from just grinding and doing stand-up to being on HBO, second lead on the show. It goes from zero to a hundred real quick. I think about that when it comes to dating. Like, I can go from being single to engaged in six months, who knows. I don’t know! But if it’s right, it’s right. I’m very hopeful. So when I play Molly, I know that she’s in a despair situation, but I play her with a tinge of maybe this could work.

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Before you were on the show, what did you feel like needed to be explored more as far the reality of dating? Where were you like, “I don’t see this”?

What I think is interesting is having a show that depicts a strong black woman who has a lot of things going for her but also has some flaws when it comes to dating. Yes, there are some dudes that need to get it together, but, at the same time, just because you have one aspect working for you doesn’t mean that you don’t make mistakes. The fact that we don’t see the mistakes we make or the hand we play in our relationships either working or not working—and it’s not to play the victim but it’s just to be like,hey give it some thought. Are you the Molly chick that goes a dude smiles at me I think he loves me? If so, that may be your issue. Check that, because the narrative that you tell is: He smiled at me and I thought we were gonna have a good time and so I invited him to move in and he just, like, ghosted me. Oh, that’s because you moved probably way too fast. I think that ability, because the show is written by a black woman, to be able to check other black woman and be like, “Hey if this is something you do…” [is important]. As opposed to it being somebody else from another race telling us what to do and how to diminish ourselves.

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The absence of the black female voice has been the problem on TV, to where there haven’t been as many black women allowed to write the shows. As far as Molly’s shortcomings, if you had in front of a therapist, what would you say would make her happy? What’s her issue and what does she need?

You know what, I say all the time, I think Molly would make an amazing girlfriend and an amazing wife. It’s just the step in between. It’s like, I probably would’ve been a great doctor if only for the MCAT. I just didn’t want to take the MCAT! I didn’t like studying for that long and then I might not get it right the first time. I don’t wanna be a doctor that bad. And maybe the whole blood situation, but I’m sure I could’ve found a specialty that didn’t require surgery.

I think Molly, it’s the dating regime that prevents her from finding the best kind of lovefor her. She’s a lawyer. She’s the kinda chick where things make sense to her or they don’t. This is the case. This is a fact. This is truth. This is not truth. And then, case dismissed. She sees black and white. So for her, it’s like,I see a dude, I like him, he seems me, he likes me, let’s cut out all the foolishness. I think once Molly gets to the “we in this together and we’re building” phase, oh my god, she’s gon’ be amazing. This interim phase, she can’t crack the code. And she doesn’t know how to play the game and she doesn’t want to play games. I get it. If she was in front of a therapist, I think it would really be having to have her mind disconnect from lawyer mode. I think she brings lawyer mode into dating mode and matters of the heart aren’t so black and white.

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By the end of Season 1, Molly is on this professional dating app and dating Jidenna [laughs]. Do you have personal experience with dating apps?

I was on Coffee Meets Bagel for like five seconds. I’m not the best with dating apps. I was bullied and so I feel like being judged by my picture, something stupid I say in a profile… I’m good. I’d be like, How dare you not double tap me?! You don’t even know the essence of me. You ever try defending yourself to somebody who doesn’t even exist in your reality? I was like, let me get off this app before I become enraged for no reason. I’m the kind of person that when you meet me my essence comes out in real life. I’m not a 2D person. I’m more like a virtual reality, put the goggles on.

So if there was a virtual reality dating app, that would be ideal.

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[Laughs]Right? And I also just knew that I’m not the person for a lot of people, no surprise. Like, in my real life, I’m not having sex until I’m married. So that’s a thing that I know eliminates a lot of people from my potential dating pool. And it’s not a thing where some dude says, “Oh she’s just saying that ’cause she hasn’t met me yet.” No sir. Thank you for playing but nah. I just don’t want to waste your time or my time. This is non-negotiable so either you with it or you’re not. And I’m not in the business of trying to convince you to be with it. All the dating apps, they’re face apps. Beyond the pretty face, y’all, this is the real and it’s cool if you can’t get with it, I get it.

Well, is it easier to explain to guys now that it’s out there, the virginity thing, or is it still a point you have to make?

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It was never a point of contention. I have shirts that say “Keeping It Locked Till I get That Rock” and I’ve had those shirts since 2008 before I was even up for any kind of roles. Being a virgin was not anything I hid. It was like, y’all this is me, the same way I’m like I’m a comedian or I’m African. It’s, B-T-dubs, it’s not going down but thank you. It was never a thing that I felt hindered me. It was a thing I know made me different and made the margin slimmer in terms of who I dated or even who I let myself be open with. It’s never a thing that I thought would keep me away from a potential mate. For the dudes it did trip out, it’s like that’s cool, you just not him or you’re not ready to be him and that’s okay.

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With Issa and Molly, Insecure is helping revolutionize black sex on TV. I’m hoping we’ll see more of it in Season 2.

I feel like we’ve seen black sex portrayed on other shows, especially on premium cable and in film. What we portray is young, black people engaging in sexual activities across the board and also discuss our characters living with the decisions that their actions have led to. Molly is very vocal and blunt when it comes to sexual situations. It’s different because on shows like Sex and the City, Samantha’s character is a liberated white woman who enjoys sex but if she were black, she may be slut-shamed. I think our show does a great job of keeping a good balance of the exchanges. And yes, there is a lot of sex in Season 2, even more so than Season 1.

Do you think about where your humor comes from?

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I’m very observational whether it’s my dating life, being an immigrant, my parents. They don’t necessarily think they’re funny, but I do think there are things they present that can be hilarious.

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A lot of your comedy material is based on the double consciousness of being Nigerian American, a first-generation immigrant. I’m also an immigrant, from an immigrant family. How did your assimilation into America compare to your Hollywood assimilation?

When I got to America, I had an accent so I was definitely picked on and was trying to find friends and I always felt being Nigerian made me special in some way. But I didn’t understand why the African Americans here didn’t want to be my friends and what made me so different, because coming from Nigeria everybody looks like you and everybody’s black like you, so it’s like, this shouldn’t be an issue. But then, my parents were like: We didn’t bring you here to make friends. We brought you here to make good grades so go ahead and get these As and don’t worry bout being popular. There was a bit of me that was like, that sucks that I can’t do both, but you right though, let me get these As. You can’t be dumb and not pretty. You can hopefully be both, but don’t not be popular and not smart. So I chose to be smart because that’s something I could control. I can’t control if you find me pretty. I can’t control if you think I’m worthy to be your friend, but what I can control is if I study and if I work hard and that’s the thing that I used as my ticket to wherever I wanted to be.

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So then transitioning to entertainment, my transition came through faith really. I just believed God and he told me to do something that was so anti anything my immigrant parents knew of, anti anything that I thought I would do. My Nigerian-ness is what makes me succeed. The same level of you gotta do this and you gotta be the best is what I brought to entertainment. The expectation to succeed at the highest level was still there, you’re just applying it to something different. I call Luvvie one of my good friends and Cynthia Erivo—all of these amazing women of African descent that I’m able to text and be like, yo, what’s poppingor why is this happening, and they give me advice or they bring me along for the ride or uplift me in the journey.

Season 2 ofInsecurepremieres this Sunday July 23 at 10:30 ET on HBO.

The Online Dating Industry is Growing and Evolving

I recently had the opportunity to interview eHarmony CEO Grant Langston about his business, the industry, and his views on climbing the corporate ladder. A long time eHarmony employee, Grant took helm of the company in 2016, bringing with him not only deep industry expertise but also knowledge of the company’s marketing, social media, customer care, content, and trust and safety operations. In his free time, Grant is also the lead singer and songwriter for a Los Angeles based country music band.

Xbox One’s Titanfall 2 gets 4-player co-op

In a new, free content update, Titanfall 2 has 4-player co-op mode on Xbox One. Titanfall 2: Operation Frontier Shield brings this new 4-player co-op mode, so now you can play with your friends locally or online on Xbox Live.

Operation Frontier Shield contains an all-new 4-player co-op survival mode, Frontier Defense, where you and your Titanfall team must protect a Harvester through multiple waves of enemy forces. You can build your team with the latest Titanfall and Pilot weaponry, gear, and upgrades to ensure victory. Here’s a look at the Operation Frontier Shield trailer.

Operation Frontier Shield brings new Frontier Titan Warpaints to showcase how much you’ve leveled-up in Frontier Defense matches and offer special XP boosts. For Frontier Pilots, there are also special Elite Weapon Warpaints. These Elite Weapon Warpaints offer special in-game bonuses to you and your team during your matches. For example, each Elite Weapon Warpaint you or your teammates own, offer a 10% greater chance you’ll earn a 2x XP token at the end of each match (max 30% total).

Lastly, Operation Frontier Shield includes a re-mastered map from the first Titanfall (Rise) and a new Live Fire map for Titanfall 2 (Township). Rise features sheer walls for Pilots to run along and plenty of zip lines to ride, and long, expansive hallways for Titans to fight.

Microsoft, Titanfall 2, Xbox

The new Titanfall 2 Live Fire map, Township, offers no place for your Titan to hide with the close-quarters combat atmosphere of a small town.

Microsoft, Titanfall, Xbox

This is a free content pack for Titanfall 2, download Operation Frontier Shield now on Xbox One and Windows 10.


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