Comments

  1. Caliban says

    Trying to combine these two separate issues doesn’t make sense. It weakens the argument.

    Either the horses are mistreated or they’re not, but that doesn’t have anything to do with whether the driver is homophobic or racist. If the driver waved and blew kisses at Pride marchers it still wouldn’t change conditions for the horse, so make the case for that separately.

  2. Paul R says

    Martina is a wonderful person. I’ve met her twice and, despite maintaining a travel schedule that would fell someone half her age, is extremely gracious and generous.

  3. JX says

    Caliban, it’s difficult to raise awareness of the conditions of the horse-drawn carriages arbitrarily. Martina, who is fabulous, is simply using the press created by this gross event to raise the issue of the conditions.

  4. Yeek says

    I agree. If I have a fight with a homophobic taxi cab driver, it doesn’t mean we should ban taxis. The argument can be won on its own merits.

  5. says

    Christine Quinn not only killed the very popular bill to ban horse-drawn carriages for political reasons, but she has also blocked every meaningful animal protection bill introduced at City Hall since she became Speaker. To rub salt into the wounds of the animals and their advocates, she has fast-tracked phony bills that give the impression of helping animals while hurting them, such as a bill in 2011 that overturned a law mandating a (much needed) animal shelter if every borough. A few years ago, she killed a bill that was co-sponsored by 45 Council Members (out of 51). It would have required pet stores to install sprinklers (after a several pet store fires killed hundreds of animals). Her real estate donors didn’t want to retrofit their retail spaces with sprinklers, so she killed the bill for them.

  6. says

    @ MIKE :

    I’m ashamed to see that this small little piece of bigoted $hit is Irish. He shames us all.
    Maybe he supports those bigots who won’t let us march in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade….The Ancient Order of Hibernians…..which we denounce, including our president who refused their invitation to lead it without gays.
    He is certainly not representative of his home country….and we should tar and feather him if we get our hands on him.

    I don’t think that the people running these horse drawn carriages have the interests of the horses in mind……they are only interested in profit.

  7. Swiminbuff says

    Martina honey, I think you are trying to merge 2 different issues to advance your views. The homophobia/racism of that one driver deserves to be called out but it has absolutely nothing to do with carriage driving and is not a reason to call for an end to the carriage trade in NYC.

  8. Joan P says

    I was one of the volunteers from NYCLASS who was there. We were just handing out flyers to passersby when this insane drivers went bonkers. Whatever, we’ll be back out there again this weekend.

  9. William says

    Horrible incident and the carriage driver deserves the bad publicity; HOWEVER, PETA is another group that likes to shanghai LGBT rights and use it for their cause (Martina should not blur the issues). PETA does not speak for me or anyone in my gay community.

  10. Xavi says

    What an angry little leprechaun that man is, oh my!

    @CALIBAN, while I agree with you in theory, my experience with people expressing completely offensive and hateful language are often hiding something…

    Keep on fighting the good fight and get these horses off our streets and the animals that drive them out of our city.

    I am not a big PETA supporter, but I do strongly agree with their efforts here.

  11. Latina says

    As a person of color and also one of the person in the small group handling out fliers, the two issues are interrelated. This is why I feel for animals because they are exploited They didn’t pick their specie ad I didn’t chose my color. We must have compassion and this industry lacks it!

  12. Latina says

    As a person of color and also one of the person in the small group handling out fliers, the two issues are interrelated. This is why I feel for animals because they are exploited They didn’t pick their specie ad I didn’t chose my color. We must have compassion and this industry lacks it!

  13. Chris says

    Here we go again with PETA trying to hijack anything possible for cheap publicity and to stir up controversy.

    This driver is a homophobic, racist, whatever you want to call him. That has NOTHING to do with PETA, it’s issues, or it’s constant attempts to create headlines.

    PETA may have a few worthy goals, but mixed in with those goals are a plethora of dishonest tactics, extreme rhetoric, and outright lies. One example is PETA running ads in publications that children would see, telling the kids that Daddy is a murderer if he goes fishing.

    Martina, do not invoke the gay community when promoting PETA, you will find many of us despise PETA and its tactics, even if we support some of its goals. The animus PETA has created with its money wasting efforts,including trying to get memorial markers for animals killed on highways, and having sea mammals legally declared as “people”, has created a large anti-PETA group of people.

    So now Martina Navratilova has joined PETA, when there are much more worthy organizations out there., sad.

  14. Truth says

    Why is it when a white man is homophobic, people are allowed to lash out on his race? When a black man is violently homophobic, we’re not allowed to comment on their race? Reverse racism much?

  15. IonMusic says

    I was just going to comment, how come no one is commenting on the racist comments above directed at a caucasian Irish man? Notice how no one except one poster above has corrected it. Now if we so much as mention homophobia in the black community- it’s the worst evil. But the Anti Irish comments above are not making anyone bat an eyelash. Interesting

  16. Kyle Ohten says

    Well this gay man completely allows animal rights groups to use me, my name and my sexualitu to further help their cause and the rights of all animals. The same motives and disdain that goes in blocking my rights and respect is what motivates people to harm animals. In both cases insecurity, lack of civilty, and bullying is in place to *control* someone or something else. I will stand up to everyone and living creature being valued with respect, not just rights that effect me or my skin color. Shame on anyone who only wants to help injustices that serves them

  17. Amber says

    The underlinning principle behind animal cruelty and homophobia are the same

    Compassion, or lack thereof.

    Most common sense folk can recognize that

  18. 2EastCoastDudes says

    The two issues aren’t being merged but simply the parellels between the two are being drawn, and that’s not a bad thing at all. From my life experiences, decades upon decades, one thing that I’ve consistently noticed is those I’ve met who are animal lovers (be it volunteers in shelters, rescues, those with non profit organizations devote to helping mistreated animals) animal lovers have been the most unwavering loyal supporters of equal rights and acceptance of LGBT in my life. It’s almost as though they get pain and suffering, and the importance of love & nurture.

    Now conversely, the people I’ve known who make insensitive and flippant comments like “it’s just an animal. animals are not people. Who cares someone abused them? What about all the people who are hurting?” are the SAME people who turn and make comments like ” why do you have to announce your gay and shove it down our throats? Keep that crap behind closed doors where it belongs. We don’t want to see that nastiness”

    Both cases equate to no conscience or empathy.

  19. 2EastCoastDudes says

    The two issues aren’t being merged but simply the parellels between the two are being drawn, and that’s not a bad thing at all. From my life experiences, decades upon decades, one thing that I’ve consistently noticed is those I’ve met who are animal lovers (be it volunteers in shelters, rescues, those with non profit organizations devote to helping mistreated animals) animal lovers have been the most unwavering loyal supporters of equal rights and acceptance of LGBT in my life. It’s almost as though they get pain and suffering, and the importance of love & nurture.

    Now conversely, the people I’ve known who make insensitive and flippant comments like “it’s just an animal. animals are not people. Who cares someone abused them? What about all the people who are hurting?” are the SAME people who turn and make comments like ” why do you have to announce your gay and shove it down our throats? Keep that crap behind closed doors where it belongs. We don’t want to see that nastiness”

    Both cases equate to no conscience or empathy.

  20. TXBoy says

    I actually think the idea of merging a small organization that promotes the humane treatment of animals, their rights, as well as the humane treatment of all people, including LGBT is a niche and neat idea. I’m not saying Peta is that, but someone else could start that. I agre with the comment above how one thing I love about my LGBT community is just how many of us are animal lovers. It’s amazing. I also swear animals tend to gravitate toward LGBT (having had a farm and many gay friends) it’s as though we can sense each other’s compassion

  21. Goldstandard says

    It’s not impossible to fight for two worthy causes in the same breath. It’s very reasonable an effective to mandate an end to the cruelty the horses face as well as mandating a redefining phase of the people who are running the industry. An employee who screams bigotry at passersby and an industry that has poor treatment of their animals goes hand in hand for this gay person. I salute Martina for caring about issues that don’t effect her, but do effect the life of another living thing. Coupled with her willingness to stand up to prejudice, and she proves to be a stand up human being.

  22. Derrick from Philly says

    “Why is it when a white man is homophobic, people are allowed to lash out on his race? When a black man is violently homophobic, we’re not allowed to comment on their race? Reverse racism much?”

    Is this your first coming to this blog? We’re you able to read before today?

    I don’t like insults against Irish Catholics because of one homophobic idiot who happens to be Irish Catholic, BUT these comments are “baby talk” compared to what’s said here about Blacks when the subject is a homophobic Black.

    Maybe you weren’t being serious. Yes, that’s it–you were being sarcastic. Right?

  23. Mark J. says

    @ Chris
    Peta doesnt represent all animal lovers. I notice people who resent thos who are animal lovers like to throw out a peta dig at People who work for the welfare of animals. It’s a go to (lazy) insult. There’s thousands of animal welfare organizations that are not at all affiliated to Peta. People who actually realize that animals can feel pain, hurt and suffering just as we can. Instead of constantly bashing Peta or heck, people who love animals and have NOTHING to do with PETA; go make yourself useful and volunteer one hour, just one day, at your local pound and see the number of dogs that come in after being terribly abused, kicked, thrown out of a car, or used as bait in a dog fight. Go show them some love and see them roll over for a belly rub and feel a little less hostile on this topic.

  24. ConstanceStance says

    It’s her letter, it’s her right and she can advocate for whatever cause she wants.

    I support Martina’s quest one hundred percent. They need to regulate the industry more carefully to make sure the practices and those hired are on the up & up.

  25. JOJO says

    Hey, I thought making comments about a persons background is a no no. Or does that only apply to the constant wave of black homophobes who target our community. We have to be super PC and not addresss their brand of homophobia, which is cultural and we all know it stems from their culture. Meanwhile, how many Irish jabs have been taken on this guy?

  26. John says

    These are uneducated people from the bottom of the barrel. They attack people, make racists remarks and homophobic remarks. These people have no compassion for animals nor any living being. They worship their tax free money that the city subsidized. it is disgraceful how the city enables this corrupt city. They pay the central park no concession fee and ruin the park for the native new yorkers. Also they force the horses to work in 90 and above degrees and the Park depts does NOTHING

  27. Heather L says

    How great a paradox that on one hand we vilify this man for his out burst but in the same very posts make remarks about his back ground, religion and upbringing. Hypocrites much.

    Also we are shown a edited clip of a video. How do we know what was or was not said to him prior to this reaction. It quite possibly was a push and pull between he and the women videoing. There are several other videos of her under her YT name speaking quite vulgarly to the drivers using all sorts of profanity that equal if not trump his out burst. It seems quite clear to me that this person spends a tremendous amount of time interacting with the drivers and is quite the antagonist.

    Typical media show the driver’s out burst but do no research into what created the incidence. I for one would have filed a restraining order against that women 20 video’s ago.

  28. michaleen says

    As with any mere blip of video, there’s a backstory.

    For 6 years,a growing group of radical animal rights activists have been assembling on 59th St, to harangue, harass, insult, & bait the drivers and their passengers, while attempting to interfere with a legal business.

    They say things off camera, and then turn it on when they get a response, or just edit down to spotlight what they want. They have used all types of racial, ethnic, and misogynistic slurs, have made children in the carriages cry, even told a pregnant carriage driver that her baby ‘should be born dead or retarded’. Of course, none of that makes the final cut of the video.

    In internet forums, these people have championed actual sabotage of the carriages and stables.

    It goes without saying that pointing to bad behavior does not mitigate other bad behavior; what this driver said was wrong, period. What he said doesn’t reflect the opinions or feelings of the industry, has nothing to do with the issue, and it doesn’t even reflect the real feelings of the man who said it, as he employed a gay man for 6 years as a driver on his OWN carriage, and has friends from every race imaginable (yes, I know that sounds like the old ‘some of my best friends are black’, but it happens to be true.)

    Remember Alec Baldwin called a carriage driver a ‘faggot’ back in 1992, right inside City Hall? It was reported in the media, and he was called on it by out-Councilman Tom Duane, and had to make a public apology at Duane’s behest. He did, and all was forgiven.

    This driver — pushed to the brink by lunatic activities week in and week out, for years, followed, filmed, and dogged, called ‘bog trotter’, ‘drunken Irish scum’, ‘dickless’, ‘ball-less’, ‘animal abuser’ etc etc ad nauseum — said something hateful which was meant to hurt the people who were hurting him; he was fighting back by pushing buttons. Who among us has never done this? He now very much regrets his words and intends to apologize for them. He is genuinely horrified that he stooped to their level.

    You can believe me or not, but I know — because he is a good friend, in addition to being one of the best drivers and horsemen in the industry.

    To those of you who think there is abuse or cruelty in the NYC carriage industry, you very much mistaken. Our horses enjoy amenity-filled lives with more oversight than children at risk in this city. I’d be happy to answer any questions any of you have.

  29. Thomas says

    “Even if animal tests produced a cure for AIDS, we’d be against it.”
    — PETA president and co-founder Ingrid Newkirk, in the September 1989 issue of Vogue, Sep 1989

  30. Carrie says

    Michaleen
    What he said in the video was uncivil, rude and crude. No excuses an adult behaving so Disrespectful in public, and especially when representing a company in uniform as a staff member. I believe we should always try to maintain class and kindness. Even in heated moments. I hope this man can learn from this lesson. I certainly think he can, and become a better person because of it

  31. ratbastard says

    The man has a NORTHERN IRELAND accent, not a southern accent. I do not know what his religion is or if he’s religious at all.

    Who here is intimately familiar with NYC and life in the big apple? This was pretty TAME stuff. I of course am not defending the man’s bad attitude and language, but angry people no matter their background, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, etc. talk smack. We’re all [I think] adults here and know this is true.

    In all honesty also, many of these folks like the PETA women, planned parenthood, greenpeace, ron paul supporters, etc. can be a serious pain in the a** for the average person just trying to go about their business, and in this case, these people whose livelihood is the carriage trade. I do often notice a certain smugness with obvious class over-tones with many people like so-called environmentalist [there’s a big difference between real environmentalist and the Al Gore / radical chic bourgeois kind], the usually young pretty white girls who petition on the sidewalks fro planned parenthood, etc.

  32. DrMikey says

    The horse-drawn carriages near Central Park are traditionally romantic, but many of the horses are certainly mistreated and worked until they drop dead. I’m against hunting for sport, especially with telescopic sights and automatic weapons from helicopters. Most fishermen eat the fish they catch, or tag & release. BUT – PETA and HSUS are simply lobbying organizations, whose executives live high on the hog with donated dollars. The money they drain from donors do nothing to benefit individual animals. If it were up to them, we would have no dogs, cats, birds, etc. as pets within a generation. That would be a great loss to most people. Give your money instead to small local rescue outfits, which rescue, rehabilitate and find forever homes for abandoned and mistreated dogs & cats.

  33. ratbastard says

    @John said,

    ‘These are uneducated people from the bottom of the barrel.’

    Wow, gee John, aren’t you being mean spirited and class conscious, buddy? Are you saying all ‘uneducated’ people [I suppose to you ANYONE who works manual labor, blue collar or ‘working class’ jobs are the ‘bottom of the barrel’?] are ahole sociopaths? Because John, in my experience, the biggest aholes and sociopaths / psychopaths in our world are actually the well educated white collar / professional variety.

  34. Bob Pomilla says

    Oh, how Ms Quinn’s “rebuke” of the vile tirade of this driver must have stuck in her throat. For, this sort of behavior has been exhibited by these drivers for many years – a fact that Ms Quinn has been apprised of, many times, evoking nothing more than silence from Madame Speaker. I have personally been witness to the racial, homophobic, misogynistic and even ageist, slurs issuing from their sewer mouths and the physical threats and assaults by these embarrassments to the city, whom former New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton, likened to “public urinators” and “squeegee pests”.

    Though Quinn has been made aware of the actions of these drivers many times, it took a high profile gay person to finally get Quinn to issue her tepid statement of protest. Quinn undoubtedly, saw Ms Navratilova’s statement as potentially harmful to her standing in the gay community, a community who’s support she will need if her aspirations to Gracie Mansion are to be realized and thus was impelled to take an action that she was loathe to in the past. Quinn promotes her gayness for political expediency, not social justice.

    To the NYClass supporters who were victimized on this occasion: if your goal is getting relief for these long suffering horses, would you care to tell us why your founder and president, Steve Nislick, is supporting Chistine Quinn, the number one obstacle to getting these creatures off the streets, for mayor?

    And to those who fail to see the connection between all social justice movements, including justice for animals, it would serve you well to heed these words of the remarkable Cesar Chavez:

    “Kindness and compassion toward all living things is a mark of a civilized society. … Racism, economic deprival, dog fighting and cock fighting, bullfighting and rodeos are cut from the same fabric: violence.”

  35. Alan says

    2Eastcoast dudes are correct. Martina is not mixing two different messages, as many writers argue. She is pointing out, as in character witnesses at criminal trials, that bad people do bad things. Sociologists point out the correlation between animal abusers and their other anti-social behaviors. The fact that Quinn condemns one anti-social behavior while supporting another is shameful.

  36. AJD says

    The horrible things that carriage driver said were unforgivable, but I myself am of Irish Catholic heritage, and I really don’t appreciate the anti-Irish comments some people are making here.

  37. Joanne says

    If you have never experienced the carriage industry first hand and from the inside, do not make judgements you are not qualified to make!!! Why would a company be cruel to their horses, which is their main source of income?! These horses are not cheep so why would one NOT take care of them? Horses NEED a job and something to do. They are and have always been a “beast of burden”, bred to serve mankind for centuries! Some are show horses, pleasure horses or work horses. It is their lot in life. It is no more curel to make a show horse or a carrige horse, same thing! In fact, a carriage horse is not subjected to as much human intervention as a carriage horse! Unless you have experience with horses, do not assume you know whats best for them!!!

  38. Joanne says

    Sorry I make a typographical error…..”a carrige horse is not subjected to as much human intervention as a SHOW HORSE” is what I should have typed. MANY breeds of show horses are being closely watched by regulators to stem the tide of widespread abuse for the sake of winning! Why not turn your attention to them? A Tennessee Walking Show horse would never think to move that way in the show ring, yet competitors keep getting away with forcing their horses into moving in the most un-natural way possible, in order to win! Now THAT is horrific and cruel! Go get ’em PETA and leave the carriage horses alone.

  39. Joanne says

    By the way, I don’t really give a crap what any person does in their bedroom, it’s none of my business and none of yours either! Hetrosexual people do much more weird and unspeakable things than a gay person ever thought of, so why doesn’t any one protest their disgusting acts? Double standard? Yeah!

  40. Bob Skiba says

    The man is obviously an offensive dimwit, but please keep the two issues separate. He does not speak for all carriage drivers, and his mindless vitriol has to do with the treatment of people, not horses. I’m a gay man and I know many carriage drivers; they all love and care for their horses. He is a disgrace to carriage drivers and to humanity; the exception, NOT the rule.

  41. David says

    Open Letter To Speaker Christine Quinn

    Dear Speaker Quinn

    Most of the animal community are well presented professional and educated people and share more in common with you than the carriage drivers do. If you didn’t have the Speaker position, which I and many progressive people voted for you, then the drivers would call you Dyk** as they called us.

    These drivers abuse the horses, dirty the park, pay no concession fees to the park, alienate many of the neighbors who deal with their reckless driving. This industry hires low wage drivers (mostly mexicans) who are exploited as well. This is no REAL union. These drivers would never vote for you and many don’t even live in the city.

    I wish you can see how many residents run up to the outreach tables in several parts of the city. They passionately state how they hate the abuse and how they complained for several years about it. I wish you can view how many people and how passionate they are about the horses and the cruelty involved.

    With much Respect
    Your fellow New Yorker

  42. felix says

    This is not an isolated incident. This industry is full of racist and homophobic people. Geemis is one of them. She was banned from youtube for her racist remarks. She called people monkey faces.

    Here are some of the videos

    http://youtu.be/C3-n5dnsdDA (carriage driver grabs his little pe** and makes nasty remarks)

    http://youtu.be/04zcx5b37TY (driver makes racist remarks and picks on a elderly woman)

    carriage driver attacks pedicab driver

    http://youtu.be/EIu9k1R0zzI

    Carriage driver harassing volunteers and even tourists

    There is so many on youtube that I can’t post them all here. IT is disgusting how we subsidize this racist and cruel industry that pays no taxes and overcharges tourists.

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