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Roseanne Barr tearfully apologizes, says she lost everything

Last weekend during an emotional interview with Rabbi Shmuley, Roseanne Barr admitted how she lost everything and regrets her racist comments.

For those who don’t know, Barr’s hit series was rebooted and set to make a comeback until a series of racist tweets against former President Obama’s top aide, Valerie Jarrett, was made. In a tweet that is now deleted, Barr wrote: “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj,” which was in reference to Jarrett. Though Barr initially said she was joking, she soon deleted the tweet and wrote an apology to Jarrett and all Americans.

ABC caught wind of the incident and quickly cancelled the reboot.

In a transcript of Barr’s interview with Shmuley, she said, “Of course, no I don’t excuse it. I horribly regret it. Are you kidding? I lost everything, and I regretted it before I lost everything. And I said to God, ‘I am willing to accept whatever consequences this brings because I know I’ve done wrong. I’m going to accept what the consequences are,’ and I do, and I have. But they don’t ever stop. They don’t accept my apology, or explanation. And I’ve made myself a hate magnet. And as a Jew, it’s just horrible. It’s horrible.” She then broke down crying.

She added that she never thought Jarrett was a black woman. “I know it’s a form of racism to assume every person who looks white is white. But it’s a mistake that a lot of people make. People make that mistake about me all the time. They don’t know I’m a Jew. […] It was an insensitive thing for me, but it’s the reason, and I’m just gonna’ own my reason. I can’t let anyone else say I did it because I’m a racist, because I didn’t.”

She also said that people have said she compared Jarrett and black people to monkeys, but she tried to clarify that that wasn’t what she said. “Here’s what I said. I know the history of the world, and racism and how it affects people. I’m not ignorant. But I’m stupid sometimes. […] I’ve always worked with black women. I’ve done that since the sixties. And you know it still creeps in. I am so sorry and humiliated and you know, angry at myself. But in my heart I just made a stupid error.”

At the time of the tweet, some people involved with the show, including Sara Gilbert and Wanda Sykes, respectfully said that Barr doesn’t speak for everyone in the cast and they would no longer be returning.

Even though Roseanne was cancelled, a spin-off called The Connors was given the green light and will be airing in the fall with 10 episodes already on the way. Original cast members such as John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, Lecy Goranson, and Michael Fishman will be returning. According to Today, the cast collectively released a statement saying, “We have received a tremendous amount of support from fans of our show, and it’s clear that these characters not only have a place in our hearts, but in the hearts and homes of our audience. We all came back last season because we wanted to tell stories about the challenges facing a working-class family today. We are so happy to have the opportunity to return with the cast and crew to continue to share those stories through love and laughter.”

Sidewalk Labs to improve Toronto living

Toronto is a great city and I am happy to have called it my home for over a decade. But there are flaws that have me thinking about moving to the suburbs and even to the Hamilton region. Mainly this has to do with the astronomical cost of living , and the unavoidable congestion on roadways and delays experienced on transit.  But even a move to the suburbs would mean a more expensive and time-consuming commute to central Toronto for work.

I dwell on the thought of moving for a moment, and I remind myself why I love Toronto so much- the culture, the activity and the people.

Organizations are stepping in to attempt to better our great city. Sidewalk Labs is a Google-affiliated high-tech company, which is pushing to develop a technological hub on Queen’s Quay. The Manhattan-based firm that specializes in urban innovation, seeks to use its technology to include sensors that will collect and analyze data. This will then be used to  assist with solving problems in Toronto — such as high housing costs, road safety and safety of citizens as well as other issues that go along with urban living.

This all sounds beneficial, but worries have arisen over how the data collected will be used. On the heels of the Cambridge Analytica case, which saw a privacy breach on 600,000 Canadians and over 80 million Facebook users, this is a growing concern. Questions as to whether the U.S. government will have access to private data were also posed.

Sidewalk Labs won a Waterfront Toronto contest last October to develop a live-and-work neighbourhood on 12 acres of land that stretches from Queens Quay to Parliament Street. The firm released a “summery report” on Wednesday.

In the report, residents said their wish is for any data collected to be “transparent and consensual.”

If the Sidewalk Toronto project is fully approved, it will be partially paid for by Canadian taxpayers through a public-private partnership. Any councillors who know insider details about the project have signed a non-disclosure agreement.

The pitch made by Sidewalk Labs last fall was quite attractive- proposing the neighbourhood would serve as “a hub for innovation-related companies and entrepreneurs,” while offering residents more opportunities to “live, work, learn and play.”

While some developers are concerned the benefits that may result if the plan is executed in a transparent  and effective way could be massive for the city.