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November 29, 2014

Response to Ferguson: Systemic Problems Require Systemic Solutions

Ferguson ASSOCIATED PRESS

Decades of segregation and inequality in Ferguson, as well as most American metropolitan areas, have fostered a racial inequality exacerbated by the criminalization of not just poverty, but the criminalization of black and brown bodies. Too many whites are too willing to believe that a black body poses a threat.

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GARY SHEFFIELD: Nothing Wrong with a Little 'Bump & Grind'

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By Karu F. Daniels, AOL Black Voices

When Hillary Rodham Clinton's husband was on the path to the White House, she created a frenzy for standing by the future President William Jefferson Clinton -- after allegations of infidelity nearly rocked the campaign trail.

While many women are known to roll with the punches when it comes to their spouse's sexual history and/or extra-marital affairs, many men don't.

All-Star athlete Gary Sheffield is one who stands by his woman.

The Major League Baseball star finally addressess the R. Kelly scandal the he and his wife DeLeon Richards were embroiled in 2003, in his new autobiography, 'Inside Power' -- in stores now.

"While we were still living in Atlanta, people began calling DeLeon, talking about a videotape with her and R. Kelly," the 39-year-old Tampa native writes in the tome, written with Marvin Gaye/Tavis Smiley biographer David Ritz. "They were demanding millions in hush money. DeLeon was pregnant with Jaden and emotionally at the most vulnerable point in her life."

Sheffield revealed that another blackmailer had joined in on the action -- this time a preacher wanting Richards to join his ministry, and the couple to employ him as their spiritual counselor in exchange for his silence.

"Both D and I understood the implications of what we were doing: The minute this jack-leg preacher was caught, news of D's former relationship with R. Kelly would hit the papers."

The former New York Yankees Right Fielder, who has experienced his fair share of media scuttlebutt over his near 20 year career, remained undaunted by the threats. "I just want to bury this jerk who thinks he can hold us up," he consoled his wife after she expressed concern.

"Other women, wanting to protect their reputation at any cost, might have suggested paying a blackmailer. Not DeLeon. She said 'My faith is in God. I'm walking through this with my head held high."

"I'm not saying that the false news reports didn't give us restless nights and bad days," he clarified. "We struggled with our anger and resentment."

He said the Holy Word provided the most solace for the couple, who were just getting settled into their New Jersey digs.

All Star baseball player Gary Sheffield lets it all hang out in his autobiography 'Inside Power,' which was published by Gotham Books April 2007."We were comforted by the absolute knowledge that God's love for us and His Blessing of our marriage were indestructible. The Calmness pointed to the Proverbs where it says, ' Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.' Morning came. Joy arrived. Faith saw us through."

Sheffield who is the father of six children --two with Richards -- is the only player in Major League history to make the All Star team with five clubs. The former Milwaukee Brewer, San Diego Padre, Florida Marlin, Los Angeles Dodger, and Atlanta Brave is now donning his seventh jersey as a proud new Detroit Tiger this season.

Richards, a gospel singer currently selling a new album available online, recently was interviewed by AOL Black Voices Producer Angela Bronner and revealed that she still doesn't know if a sex tape with Kelly exists. "But I was young, I was in a situation that's no different than anybody else out there that could've made the same mistake," she rationalized. "And so for that, I've asked God to forgive me and having [sex] outside of being married." (Read story here.)

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