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Joseph Farah
Joseph Farah
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I'll Take Manhattan


It's about time! Barack Obama has finally done something right. Interviewers always ask me if I can think of anything Obama has done that is commendable. Frankly, until now, he's done nothing but plot ways to steal my wealth. But things are about to change.

Maybe you missed it, but Obama has endorsed a United Nations resolution declaring the rights of indigenous people that could mean large swaths of the U.S. will be returned to Native Americans like me. I'm hereby staking my claim to Manhattan.

Maybe you didn't know I have Native American blood coursing through my veins. I'm more well-known for my Lebanese and Syrian ancestry. But truth be told, I have a fair amount of Indian heritage on my mother's side. So, this proposed redistribution of wealth is welcome news for me. Where do I apply? I want to return wampum for Manhattan.

Part of me doesn't even want to share this good news with you, because I want to be first in line for what is rightfully mine — everything from Soho to the Upper West Side. But the newsman in me feels compelled to tell you what's up.

Obama is getting behind the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, which says people like me "have a right to lands and resources they traditionally occupied or otherwise used."

Now, truth be told, I have never lived in Manhattan. But that's only because hundreds of years before I was born, my ancestors were swindled out of what was rightfully theirs by shady Europeans who traded plentiful seashells they probably picked up illegally on my land in the first place.

I suspect Obama himself plans to cash in on this action. During the 2008 campaign, you might recall that he was officially adopted by the Crow Nation, an Indian tribe in Montana. They gave him an Indian name.

"My Crow name is 'One Who Helps People Throughout the Land,'" Obama boasted.

If you want to be eligible for this program, I would strongly advise getting yourself adopted by a tribe right now.

This promises to be the biggest land grab since the gold rush. So how is all this going to work?

Apparently, the litigation process was first laid out in a roadmap drawn during the Carter administration. Tribes would be given the opportunity to repurchase lands and "extinguish the rights of current occupants," according to Julianne Jennings Nottoway, professor of anthropology at Pima Community College in Tucson, Ariz.

"Repurchase would restore land back to its original owners thus strengthening tribal sovereignty and jurisdiction over its people and land," she told World Net Daily. "Also, it would allow tribes the opportunity to develop socially, politically and economically as competitors as nation states within a global context under the act of self-determination."

Jennings Nottoway figures about 30 percent of aboriginal land was not ceded to the oppressive forces of invaders from Europe through the process of treaty, "but assumed — false premise or without proof — ownership and subordination."

"Tribes are not asking New Yorkers to leave Manhattan and leave their homes, memories and the lands on which they are built upon, but to make available open lands/spaces for repurchase that would be used exclusively for tribal affairs."

Sounds fair to me — especially if I can be one of the beneficiaries of this belated effort to achieve justice.

Anyway, what do we have to lose? The U.S. economy is in shambles. What harm could it do to redistribute lands based on nothing more than the racial and ethnic heritage of Americans? Are you with me?

Support me on this, and I just might make a deal with you to bring casino gambling to midtown Manhattan. What do you say? My only regret is that I didn't recapture Macy's and Saks before the Christmas season.

To find out more about Joseph Farah and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at



2 Comments | Post Comment
It would be great if "Indians" like yourself -- those of the Wannabe tribe -- would hold your commentary until you are better informed. But then, of course, truth is not nearly as inflammatory as opinion, and you really need your job in this economy, so who am I to judge?

But at the very least, why don't you do us all a favor and lose the casino schtick (totally unrelated to this article anyway). Over 50% of total tribal gaming revenues in the United States go to exacty TWO TRIBES. There are over 500 Federally recognized tribes in the US. While the thought of rich Natives growing fat off casino revenues is a sop to the conservative soul, it has no basis in truth.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Honor Girl
Wed Dec 29, 2010 12:56 PM
The "original" owners are all dead.
Comment: #2
Posted by: David Henricks
Wed Dec 29, 2010 5:37 PM
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