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The spooky truth

Whether or not he’s a racist, Robert Plant certainly ought to know what it’s OK to call an ethnic group and what simply doesn’t fly.

Apparently, he doesn’t though. The Led Zeppelin front man, on a recent taping of the Today show, mentioned rather matter-of-factly that he was influenced early on by lots of American sounds, including the oft-overlooked genre known as “spook music.”

For those of you who either have lived a charmed life or simply don’t travel in racist circles, “spook” is a rather offensive term for black people. “Spook music,” then, would be R&B or blues.

And it’s not just that Plant used the term, it’s how easily it rolled off his tongue. Clearly it’s a term he’s used with some regularity.

Several of us at Boulder Weekly are veteran music journalists and we have to admit, even though we’ve encountered plenty of racists over the years, we’ve never heard the term “spook music.”

Since Led Zeppelin pretty much modeled its music on American blues, the whole mess is even more disappointing. Plant owes black people a big apology. We say he be forced to write his next record without using any black American musical influences. We’re guessing it would be an abomination and a joke, much like Plant has apparently become.

Time for a refresher course in sexism, boys

We thought by now everyone has gotten this through their thick skulls, but judging by the actions of the New York Jets, there’s still a sizable population of meatheads out there.

At a recent practice, Ines Sainz of the Mexican network TV Azteca was treated in a way that could best be described as borderline assault. At the very least, the players’ and even the coach’s hooting and hollering amounts to sexual harassment.

Sainz, of course, was extremely embarrassed by the team’s childish antics but, being a true professional, she continued on with her interviews.

Now there are those who say she brought this treatment on herself by dressing like a whore and using her sweet bod to flirtatiously gain access to her sources, but that is the tired old argument that has been used to blame female rape victims for years. Men try to absolve themselves of responsibility by saying the woman brought it on herself by dressing that way, or by walking down that dark alley, or by flirting after a few drinks.

So for anyone who has missed the past 50 years of social discourse, here are the rules: Even if a woman is dressed seductively, calls herself “the hottest sports reporter in Mexico,” and waltzes about clearly reveling in the knowledge that she has been blessed with Goddess-like good looks and what has been described as a perfect ass, it’s still not OK to harass her.

Get your shit together, Jets. Since you haven’t won a Super Bowl since 1968, maybe you should be concentrating on your football skills instead of the media covering your practices.

Freedom of speech? Not in this town, sister

Cardiac nurse Miriam Leverington made a poor choice when she told Colorado Springs police officer Duaine Peters, “I hope you are not ever my patient.”

The statement cost Leverington her job, because Peters told the woman’s employer he felt threatened by the statement. Wouldn’t it have been considerably more creepy if Leverington had said, “I sure hope you’re one of my patients one day,” while wringing her hands and smiling wickedly?

There’s nothing more sickening than someone in a position of power using that power to hurt someone just because he can, and Peters’ actions definitely fall into that category. Leverington got off easy, though. Now that it’s clear Colorado Springs police officers can get whatever they want, it won’t be long before they are beating the piss out of anyone that contests a ticket. Good thing there’s a good cardiac nurse in the area. Oh, wait …