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  • Government Name: Michael Key
  • Register Number: K-54135
  • Age:37
  • Time Served:15+ years
  • Home Town:Chicago, IL
  • Sentence:LIFE
  • Current Charge:Murder, Attempted Murder, Armed Robbery, Home Invasion
  • Alias:Mike G
  • Release Date:N/A
  • Prison Affiliation:Gangster Disciple
  • Circle of Influence:Kenneth Key
  • Institution:Stateville Correctional Center
  • If you always do what you’ve always done, then you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.

Forgiveness: An Apology to All Women

“If anyone will take these two words to heart and use them for her own guidance,

she will be almost without sin and will lead a very powerful life. These two words are bear and for bear.”


I bring a message of apology for all the pain we men have caused you, for abandoning you to a world that has no idea the magnitude of your greatness. I apologize that we have termed you our baby’s mama, instead of giving you the title you deserve, that of Queen. I know we men have become somewhat diminished in your eyes of late for the way we treat you and allow you to be treated by others. Maybe we don’t deserve your forgiveness, but I’m here, now, to plead our case anyway.

I know at times you feel alone and abandoned by us, but understand, we’re fighting a losing battle; not only for our manhood, but our humanity as well. I’m not asking for you to feel sorry for us or to pity us, but I am asking that you try to understand the full impact of the struggles we go through. They are your struggles also. I’m not making excuses for our part in the way we treat you. There’s no excuse for that.

No woman deserves to be hit just because a man is frustrated with his lot in life. No woman deserves to be impregnated and abandoned because a man is not ready to take on the responsibilities of fatherhood. No woman deserves to be made feel less than she is because a man is jealous of her achievements. One can only be jealous when he recognizes the full spectrum of your greatness. Instead of lifting you up on our shoulders and marching you around, screaming for the world to hear how proud we are, we beat you down mentally, physically and emotionally. We do our best to keep you down so no one can see your star shine. I apologize!


I apologize that we’ve left you out there to raise the next generation of men on your own. I must say, with a few exceptions, you’re doing a wonderful job. I see you! Everyone thinks that we men get our strength from our fathers, but that’s not true. Our strength comes from our mothers. There’s no one or anything stronger than you!

Not all of us hit you. Not all of us misled or abandoned you on purpose. And the best of us appreciate you for single-handedly holding us up when this world held us down. I know it’s been a long time since any man has put in to words the value you carry in our lives. Believe me, it’s not because we’ve forgotten. We’re ashamed. I recognize and appreciate all the sacrifices you have made to get us this far.

I recognize that when the world turned on us and our fathers were taken from us, or they found oblivion at the bottom of a bottle, in a needle, or in a crack-pipe, it was you who shouldered the weight. I acknowledge that the day most of us met you, you were probably just a child, scared and alone with no idea what motherhood, or womanhood for that matter, was about. You could’ve easily abandoned us, but you didn’t. That natural nurturing and protective instinct kicked in. You remain a part of our lives until your dying day.

When we were hurt or in pain, we didn’t run to daddy (for those of us who had one). We ran to you. Whether you were mom, grandma, aunt, or sister, we could always count on you to do you best to make things better. I now understand the true depth of the tears you shed. They were shed out of love for the men in your life, no matter how hard their weight was to carry. I recognize that love, that courage, that strength, and that resilience. A love that carries on, that endures, even in the darkest of hours. A love that withstands abuse from all sides and argues down its own fears to face the uncertainties of each day.

Where did we as your men, as your sons, even get the idea that women were weak? 

To all the women who have raised another man’s children, your sister’s children, your brother’s children, and your children’s children, I see you! I know it wasn’t easy, but your strength shined through once again. From the bottom of my heart – thank you for stepping up!

To the women on lockdown, I haven’t forgotten you. I apologize to you too. I’m sorry that we as men took advantage of your deep and abiding love for us and manipulated you into throwing away your lives in a cause that was not your won. I’m sorry that when you went down because you loved us to the detriment of your life and freedom we abandoned you to fight the fight of a thousand deaths alone. Nothing I can say will ever make up for that abandonment, but I still ask for forgiveness. Not for us, but for yourself. Don’t continue to give us power over your life by carrying the burden of resentment, anger and pain. Robert Miller said, “Decide to forgive; for resentment is negative; resentment is poisonous; resentment diminishes and devours the self.”

Now, while I can apologize for all men, I can’t change all men, so this part is just from me. I’ve apologized and pleaded for forgiveness. Now I promise from this day forward: to hold you up on the pedestal you deserve; to treat you with dignity and respect; to support you in all that you do; to cherish you as the great treasure you are. From this day forward you are never alone. I am your right hand. Hold firmly and know that you can trust me. Any pressure I bring to bear upon your life is initiated by my love, and I will not do even this except as you are willing and desire.

I leave you with more words from Robert Miller:

“Be the first to forgive, to smile and take the first step and you will see happiness bloom . . . Be always the first, do not wait for others to forgive, for by forgiving you become the master of fate, the fashioner of life, and the doer of miracles. To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return you will receive untold peace and happiness.”


One response to “Forgiveness: An Apology to All Women”

  1. anne-valerie says:

    Michael, this is only my point of view but I think that we don’t need you to apologize. We are not your baby’s mama but we are not queen either. And no I can’t let you think that “men have become somewhat diminished in your eyes” or we will never find the good balance.
    If I, as a woman, begin to think that men are unable to take their own responsibility,
    are lazy, immature, selfish, etc., I fall into the trap. And until I think you’re immature,not responsible, selfish, lazy, etc. we, you and me, stay in a vicious circle. The time, the energy I could spend in this way of thinking is a time, an energy I won’t spend in thinking who spread this way of thinking the world, and why? Who is my enemy? The man beside me or the man at the top of the power structure? Who decide that I have to go to work every day? The man beside me or the man who understood 70 years ago that women were more malleable, submissive than men workers? Who decide that I am more important in my children’s education than their father? Who decide that take care of children is humiliating for a man? We must, you and me, remove ourselves from the common ideas. A woman is not all love and a man all violence. A woman is not all peace and a man all dissension. I guess that our powerful politicians, CEO spread perverse ideas and clap when they see us fighting between us when they are our enemies. Do they respect me as a woman? No. You as a man? No! Who decide that drug selling is a crime but destroy employment and send people on the streets is not? Who is thinking and working to keep low employment, poor population in poverty? True respect, confidence,that’s what we need to share. Together, we can defeat the odds only together, men and women hand in hand. No pedestal, no queen, or if we are queens you are kings. The Chinese character for “peace” is a combination of two: the character of the roof, and under the character of the woman. Yes a woman under a roof is peace. I prefer to think that peace is a woman and a man under the same roof sharing equally all the difficulties they can go through.
    Thank you for your text. Take care.

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