What’s a person? It seems like it should be obvious who is a person and who is not. Show a five year old some pictures: a white baby, an African American woman, a document of incorporation, a couple of magnified cells, a dog - and ask her to identify the people among them. She’d probably pick the baby and the woman.
But our nation doesn’t have the sense of a five year old. It never has. And today, who/what it deems to be a “person” is “curiouser and curiouser,” as Alice said in Wonderland.
Publicizing the release of the 1940 U.S. Census data, LIFE magazine released photographs of Census enumerators collecting data from household members. Yep, Census enumerators. For almost 200 years, the U.S. government counted people and recorded information about them in person, by sending out a representative to evaluate them directly.