Who Is a Person?

Howard Fineman’s famous book “The Thirteen American Arguments” starts with chapter one named “Who Is a Person?” where he gives us a wide range of information about the concept of being a person. Starting with Barak Obama becoming the first African-American President of the United States, he discussed about the rising of women power in the US politics. Especially he focused on Ann Richards, Geraldine Ferraro, Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton who were involved in women’s abortion rights activities. He finished the chapter with the ideas and concepts of Reverend Jesse Jackson Jr. and his son Jesse Jackson III about thinking themselves as a person.

The major part of this chapter is based on racism, slavery and the majority of women’s birth control and abortion rights rather than their actual rights. Previously a person was determined by his/ her color and race. In this nation only white colored people were described as the people. Black colored people always discriminated by their skin color. Even the winning of Lincoln’s civil war only abolished the slavery but didn’t bring the equality in between colors. From time to time black colored people always segregated from their rights to become the so called person and the people of this nation. Actually Thomas Jefferson’s immortal declaration “All men are created equal” didn’t come true.

It was always contradicted by the people and their created laws which made the most fundamental argument: who is a ‘person’? The foundation of this country was created by the people in the name of the people while it was only documented but didn’t get the chance to become real. People before like Jefferson, Lincoln and now Obama always fight for the equality and an equal nation where we can call ourselves as ‘one people’ and ‘one America.’


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