McGowan’s Manifesto

McGowan's Manifesto: It’s mourning in America

I wish I knew how to start this. I wish I could say how I’ve made my peace, that time will go on, that the people had their say. Hopefully, someday, I’ll get there. Right now, I am deeply, utterly, hurt and disappointed. I am not going to hold back for the sake of salvaging…

McGowan's Manifesto: Taking a Knee for Terance

    Last Friday, the sleepy evening- sun hung gently in the Tulsa, Oklahoma sky as Terence Crutcher left his music appreciation class at Tulsa Community College.   It’s hard to know what Crutcher was thinking about in the minutes before police sent a bullet through his lung for asking for help.   Maybe his…

McGowan's Manifesto: I willed it thus

There are seldom pet-peeves that are more pronounced in my life than people who don’t honor their past.   I’m a bit of Nietzsche fan (please don’t stop reading), and in his work, he talks a lot about your past being a constant part of your present. Although I am probably murdering this interpretation because…

McGowan's Manifesto: Dear scared white student

  Dear scared white student: Let me introduce myself. My name is Mary Frances McGowan, and I, like the students who you so callously called murderers, thieves and encouraged to “go back over the wall,” hail from an immigrant background.   I know that it is hard to comprehend, scared white student. My complexion, with…

McGowan's Manifesto: Yes, it’s another Manresa column

  There are rare moments in one’s life when you are so filled with love that all other elements seem to repel from your being.   Monday is generally not a friend of mine. Especially a day like the one we all shared this week, with dark, perilous storm clouds swelling in the sky. On…

McGowan's Manifesto: Rejoice and love yourself today

In high school, my day would begin a little something like this.   Lady Gaga blared from my alarm clock at  6 a.m., and all at once, insecurity wrapped around my ankles like serpents. Grabbing a bundled up uniform kilt in the corner of my room, I would begin to formulate a highly detailed plan…

McGowan's Manifesto: Make America respectful again

  I couldn’t think of a better way to spend an afternoon than celebrating the gift of democracy at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.   I know it probably sounds dorky, but there are few things I love more than the act of voting; there is something almost spiritual about it. Because I’m a…

McGowan's Manifesto: The politics of prayer

As the sun sifted through the church’s stained glass window, the rays refused to comfort my shoulders with warmth.   It was reconciliation day at school, and as I shifted in my chair as the priest looked upon me with disappointed eyes, all I could was cry.   Between tears, I attempted to explain the…

McGowan's Manifesto: What RBG and Scalia can teach us

  In all my years spent as a self-proclaimed political nerd, I have never understood people’s frustration and annoyance with presidential campaigns. That is, of course, until now.   In the midst of choosing the woman or man who will run our country, we have reduced a process that used to be among the noblest…

McGowan's Manifesto: We are all American

In the outskirts of Chicago, a young father takes his children to the playground. Like any proud dad, his grin overtakes his kind face as he watches his children collapse in laughter.   When the sun wanes in the overcast sky, his smile is replaced with an all-too-familiar nervousness. As a Muslim man, this is…

McGowan's Manifesto: The war on X-mas is over (if you want it)

  As warm lights adorn quaint town squares and the soft blanket of snow lays gently on the ground, it’s difficult not to get into a holiday state of mind.  As much as I would love to maintain the cynical journalist stereotype, I am not afraid to admit that I love this time of  year…

McGowan's Manifesto: Aging is a peculiar thing

  While I was still enjoying my youth, I would watch my mother apply her crimson lipstick and long for her cool, collected wisdom. In my naivete, I saw adulthood as a fast world with boundless freedom, where you didn’t cry when you fell down anymore and where you had all of the answers. As…

McGowan's Manifesto: Check your privillege at the door

  It was once said by  Desmond Tutu,  “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” Since the racially charged brutality that took place last year in Ferguson, Miss. was brought to light,  I have been awakened to an understanding of our deeply racist American history and…

McGowan's Manifesto: Why fair trade matters

    Imagine with me for a second that you are someone entirely different from yourself. Shed your western socialization and envision that you were not born into the community that you were, but instead in a poverty-stricken pocket of the Dominican Republic.   In order to survive, you work impossibly long hours in a…

McGowan's Manifesto: Woes of the Female Intern

  It was the first press conference of the summer. A month prior to this date, I started my journey as a congressional press intern, and every day following, I repeatedly pinched myself to make sure that I wasn’t dreaming. I had fantasized about being part of the wheel of public service for as long…

McGowan's Manifesto: The maiming of Lady Liberty

  Tucked between the Pacific and Atlantic lives a magnificent young woman named Lady Liberty. Her beauty is rich, varied and deep, with amber locks, sea glass eyes and skin that glows with warm desert reds and cool mountainous blues. She has many, many children, 318.9 million to be exact.   As a fledgling mother,…

McGowan's Manifesto: The petty party

As a purveyor of all things political, I live for presidential campaigns. While some of my fellow swing-state residents run for bomb shelters as campaign signs dot front lawns and television sets sing of fiscal reform and social issues, I sprint towards the insanity without looking back. I have lived through 5 presidential campaigns and…

McGowan's Manifesto: An enchantment with writing

  The gentle Lake Erie air kissed my skin as I found myself thinking about the future. The day was August 1, 2015, and I was enjoying yet another ideal summer day, lazily reading on the expansive wrap-around porch of the 140 year-old Hotel Lakeside in Lakeside, OH, a cozy Chautauqua community on the shores…

McGowan's Manifesto: Dear future daughter

    Dear future daughter: I think of you often, although we have not yet met.   I think of you as I walk home alone in the dark and rainy Cleveland streets. I think of you as shadows take on lecherous, human personas, as raindrops hitting the gutters become footsteps, as my heart pounds through…

McGowan's Manifesto: Hey, SCOTUS, lets get equal

  If it’s Sunday, it’s “Meet the Press.” Like any good JCU journalism student, I start my Sabbath day with a piping hot cup of coffee and awardwinning political commentary, all the while visualizing my name in the closing credits.   Last Sunday, one of the predominant talking points was the upcoming marriage equality vote…

McGowan's Manifesto: To the woman meditating in church

  Over Easter break, I had an intense moment of clarity. Admittedly, Easter has always been my least favorite holiday. The foundations of celebration is an overwhelmingly beautiful reminder of the hope that religion can provide to people. However, in my humble opinion, the holiday in its present form, at least how I’ve experienced it,…

McGowan's Manifesto: An ode to Joe

  Bear with me as I profess a very heavy statement, that I must tell you I mean with all sincerity: this past weekend I experienced one of the rare moments in my time on earth when I felt the absolute weight of what it means to have life.   Over the course of 48…