Disturbing? Yes. But surprising? Unfortunately, no.
The fact that people who are unkind to animals are often also unkind to human beings is well established. So we were disgusted but not surprised when a video hit YouTube showing New York City horse-drawn carriage driver and co-owner of Clinton Park Stables Frank Rodden spitting racist and sexist slurs at women:
The elderly woman and the Latina woman insulted by Rodden had simply expressed concern for his horse.
New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito is also a Latina woman, and she has voiced her support for Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to retire the horse-drawn carriages. Today, PETA Latino sent her the video and asked her to demand a public apology from the drivers’ union.
It wouldn’t be the first time that the council has had to demand an apology from the union. Two years ago, then-Speaker Christine Quinn had to take similar action after another driver berated a mixed-race lesbian couple, calling them “[email protected]#$ing [email protected]” and “[email protected]#$ing [email protected]#$%.” The driver has never apologized and is still allowed to work with tourists.
You can tweet your support for Mayor de Blasio’s plan to retire the horses to sanctuaries to the mayor (@BillDeBlasio) using the hashtag #TYDeBlasio.