In a special crossover moment for The Real News, Dave Zirin of Edge of Sports joins The Marc Steiner Show for an installment of ‘Not In Our Name’—a series of conversations and reflections from the Jewish diaspora on Palestinian liberation. In a meandering conversation, Dave and Marc discuss their own personal journeys through the many sides of Jewish politics and history, the current state of antisemitism in the world of sports, and more.

Studio Production: David Hebden
Post-Production: David Hebden


Marc Steiner:  Welcome to The Marc Steiner Show here on The Real News. I’m Marc Steiner. It’s great to have y’all with us. And welcome to another edition of Not in Our Name: our series of conversations with Jews from around the world saying no to the occupation of Palestinian Land, and homes, and the ongoing oppression of Palestinians. There is another way. And today, we hear from this man, Dave Zirin. Now, I’ve known Dave for some years now and he’s been a guest on my show on public radio before, I don’t think ever before here on The Real News but that’s okay because The Real News now has him here on the Edge of Sports.

Dave Zirin writes a column in that name for The Nation magazine. He’s acknowledged around the world as one of the best sports analysts, commentators, and writers, not covering the games that we play and love, but diving into the social, cultural, and political worlds twirling around and through that world of sports. He’s the author of numerous books, including his latest, Game Over: How Politics Has Turned the Sports World Upside Down, and of course, The John Carlos Story: The Sports Moment That Changed the World which won the NAACP Image Award. And let me leave time for our conversation. Dave, welcome. Good to have you with us, man.

Dave Zirin:  Oh, I’m thrilled to be here and honored. Thank you so much.

Marc Steiner:  Oh, no. I’m looking forward to this. I didn’t know until I thought about having you on this segment, not in our name, that you have been around doing this for a while, talking at conferences, speaking out as a Jewish saying no. Talk about that sojourn for yourself.

Dave Zirin:  Absolutely. I was raised in a very Jewish family like so many Jews in the US. My grandparents and great-grandparents fled to this country from Eastern Europe to flee pogroms like so many Jews in this country. I lack a large family for the reason of the Holocaust. Like so many Jews, the stories of my grandparents, and from what I hear great-grandparents, of the shtetl in which they were raised no longer exist and are even difficult. We had to go through some efforts, even find out the names of said shtetl. Like a lot of Jews, although not all Jews, my grandparents and great-grandparents were very wary about speaking Yiddish in front of me. I would catch them doing it but they were very insistent on English because they were very one to this idea that America could be a place where they would be safe. And if there’s one thing I’m happy about, when I think of my grandparents, is that they didn’t live to see Charlottesville, that they didn’t live to see the Tree of Life massacre in Pittsburgh.

I’m actually grateful for that, not because they led long lives and they would be 115 if they had lived that long, but also because they did have the illusion – And I do think it is an illusion – That this country would be safe for Jewish people. But they had a bigger illusion than that which was that if the country would not be safe for Jewish people, if that day would come, then they had Israel: Almost like a place to go where they could be safe in a world built around in their mind, understandably, a history of attempted extermination by dominant cultures that Israel would be able to protect them from that. I grew up with that idea very strongly. I went to Hebrew school where what was taught often was Zionism and supporting Israel more than the Bible and the services and the historical culture. I had a teacher, I’ll never forget, an instructor, who joked we’re over 5,000 years old as a people but in this room, we’re going to stick to the last 30.

Almost like Judaism was born in 1948 or 1967, that’s where you get Judaism in full. Until we have our own homeland, how can you really call us a people? That is something I’ve heard people like Arch Zionists say that it’s almost the negation of Judaism to not have a homeland. Now, I grew up and like yourself, Marc, I found myself very in sync with a more radical set of politics than what was on offer from the Democrats and the Republican Party. I started seeing change as being a product, much more of social movements and individuals rather than the result of people cutting deals in back rooms on Capitol Hill.

And that’s what I dedicated myself to but I held onto those Zionist ideas. So I would say things like, I’m against all war, but Israel has the right to defend itself. I’m against all nationalisms, although Israel is really an exception to that. I’m against all nationalisms except nationalisms of oppressed people like Black nationalism. I will always proudly stand with Latinx nationalism and Chicano nationalism. But at the same time – This is such a long answer, is that okay?

Marc Steiner:  That’s cool, man. Listen. Go ahead.

Dave Zirin:  All right. But at the same time I would be like, Israel is the exception. Israel is the exception. Obviously, because I was in these radical circles, I was in debates with Palestinians, with other Jews, with people I respected deeply, people from the Middle East.

Marc Steiner:  This is in your 20s?

Dave Zirin:  Yeah, yeah. Right now when I’m talking to you, I’m between the ages of 18 and 20.

Marc Steiner:  Okay. Right.

Dave Zirin:  My mom is hearing this. She’s going to wish I was in class more [Marc laughs] but in college, I was doing most of my reading outside the classroom, if I’m being really honest.

Marc Steiner:  I understand that completely. Yes. I got you.

Dave Zirin:  And I was reading, believe me, just wasn’t what I was being told to read. And finally, the contradiction became too great. I want to see liberation for all people, and that means liberation for the Palestinian people. I want to see the liberation of the Jewish people, of course. But I don’t think, certainly not now, I could say a right-wing theocracy is an avenue towards liberation. But even in those days when people were hopeful about Rabin, Arafat, and Oslo, when there was this sense of hope of a two-state solution, even then I was like, I need to reject this and really stand for one state with equal rights for all. Because a two-state solution would be an unequal relationship and further oppression by different means.

We need to have a South African mindset to this, where we have to identify apartheid as apartheid and as consistent anti-racist and anti-oppression activists. We need to take this on. Now, I had Jewish people in my home be like, racism, what are you talking about? This isn’t Black and white. And that only made me more firm in my beliefs because if you can understand historically how the English oppressed the Irish, and if you understand historically that race is an idiotic construct that’s constructed as a mode of oppression, then racism has to be identified as such a dominant feature of Israeli society. And one that’s longstanding, let alone talking about today, where they’re now talking about actual legislation for different punishments based on your ethnicity and based on your religion.

Marc Steiner:  In Israel at this moment?

Dave Zirin:  Yes.

Marc Steiner:  Right. But there’s a new right-wing government.

Dave Zirin:  Yes, exactly.

Marc Steiner:  Fascist government.

Dave Zirin:  Yes. But this fascist government, to me, all it is is the fruit from a poison tree. It’s something that has been coming to fruition for some time. And the last thing I’ll say is when people say to me, well, what did you read to shape your politics about this? Of course, I read some of the most famous stuff that’s been out there about this by some of the great anti-Zionist writers, Jewish, and otherwise. And I’ve read some things I’ve disagreed with by people like Norman Finkelstein, for example. But part of me also really respects the way he stuck his neck out there for all these years although there are parts of me that disagree with him a lot. That’s another question but the real thing that I read that really started to shift me honestly, was the op-ed page of Haaretz, which to a lot of folks in Israel is effectively The New York Times of Israel, for folks who don’t know.

Marc Steiner:  Exactly.

Dave Zirin:  And reading in the op-ed page that they used words that we’re not allowed to say in the US like apartheid. That to me –

Marc Steiner:  Referring to Israel as an apartheid place?

Dave Zirin:  – Referring to Israel as an apartheid place and talking about Jewish writers speaking about that openly and what the responsibility is of Jews in that context. That to me was like, okay. There’s justice and injustice in this case. This is straight up a “which side are you on” question. We can’t straddle the middle on this. And that made me a fighter for Palestinian liberation which I’ve proudly been in the decade since.

Marc Steiner:  A lot of things popped into my head as you were speaking. And I was thinking about this poster that I got in Cuba in 1968 when I went there for the first time. The poster was a picture, a drawing of the entire state of Israel-Palestine as one. And it said, “One state, two peoples, three faiths.” I suppose I still have it hanging in my study.

Dave Zirin:  That’s beautiful.

Marc Steiner:  And it struck me because, at that point, I was really newly minted against Zionism Israeli state after, as I told you before, in the air that thinking about volunteering for the Israeli army to fight in the ’67 war. [Laughs]

Dave Zirin:  When you said that… Can I jump in real quick –

Marc Steiner:  Yeah, sure. Go ahead, man.

Dave Zirin:  – Because this speaks to when you came of age. I once had someone tell me this amazing story. And this says something about why a lot of Jewish people feel a great deal of confusion about some of these questions. In their synagogue in 1964, their youth group had the option to go on the Freedom Riders or go to Israel and work in a kibbutz or something of that nature. And it’s so interesting to me that they saw no contradiction in that whatsoever.

Marc Steiner:  None. All none.

Dave Zirin:  None.

Marc Steiner:  You talk about the Freedom Riders, we don’t want to digress too deeply into this, but 70% of the white Freedom Riders were Jews.

Dave Zirin:  Yes. Wow. Which speaks to a lot of the right-wing – And we don’t talk about this nearly enough but a lot of antisemitism from the right about the ’60s movements, SDS, et cetera –

Marc Steiner:  So let me ask you this difficult question.

Dave Zirin:  – Sorry.

Marc Steiner:  No, you raised it. You’ve spoken about this. I’ve seen at some of the conferences you’ve been to and things you’ve written and the quote you had at the beginning of our discussion today, the right-wing Christian nationalist movement in this country, which is hugely powerful and is seizing power across this country right now, is really dangerous for our future. They are at the same time anti-Semitic; they are pro-Israel. And so it creates this real confusion. And let me add to that something even more difficult to me on some levels: These conversations you’ve had with a number of people like with Michael Bennett – And we’ll talk about that man –  And Kyrie Irving and it also goes into this difficult area of Jewish racism and Black antisemitism. They both exist and it complicates this struggle. Both of those things. Talk a bit about your thoughts around that and how we navigate ourselves through that.

Dave Zirin:  Absolutely. The starting point is asking the question of navigation of a very difficult question. And that navigation begins with history. So the history between Black people and Jewish people in the US is extremely complicated, extremely multilayered, and has been written about in great detail by authors both Jewish and Black. And have pondered this from, of course, James Baldwin, and Richard Wright. There’s a real pondering of what do we make of Jews. Are they our comrades in struggle or not? And of course, much has been written by Jews of all stripes about how do we work with Black people. How do we fight racism? Why do we feel like it’s an obligation to fight racism?

Like what you mentioned about the percentage of Jews involved in the Freedom Rides. That comes from a faith that says we need to stand with Black people. But that’s only one side of that tradition. And that tradition is important though because the other side, and I’m going to surprise you with what I say the other side is, the other side which doesn’t get talked about nearly enough, is that Black people have put their lives on the line fighting fascism since the 1930s –

Marc Steiner:  Easily, yes.

Dave Zirin:  – 1920s, even with the invasion of Ethiopia by Mussolini. And that’s never talked about. I feel sometimes that, particularly Jewish liberals are like why don’t you support us? To the Black community. We have fought for you for so long, not with you, but for you.

Marc Steiner:  For you, which is a whole different concept.

Dave Zirin:  Whole different concept. It’s like you owe me something. And I feel like, wait a minute, do you realize that Black people died in Spain fighting the Spanish Civil War to keep Franco from taking power? They put themselves on the line against international fascism time and again. Not to mention you think of people like Paul Robeson taking a stand against McCarthyism, which was a wholeheartedly anti-Semitic institution among anti-just-about-everything institutions. So that part of the history needs to be known. The other part of the history, which I know you’re familiar with, Marc, but I’m saying it for –

Marc Steiner:  No. Please, go ahead.

Dave Zirin:  – The listeners out there, is you have to deal with the economic basis of the cities of the US to understand the tension. And you have to understand whiteness and what I refer to sometimes as conditional whiteness: Jewish people in the cities striving, attempting to make it in this country. Strong emphasis on community and education, a strong emphasis on rising, and a strong emphasis on patriotism as well. Eventually leaving the inner city, setting up camp in wealthier, more affluent neighborhoods, or even neighborhoods that are not so people living on top of each other, housing projects, and the like. But they’re still owning a lot of the local businesses and running a lot of the local businesses.

And then Black people, the great migration coming up from the South, living in cities. So if you are Black and living in a city a hundred years ago and you feel generally screwed over by society. Who is the face of society that you see every day? It’s not somebody running a Wall Street bank. It’s not somebody in the Oval Office. It’s the person you see every day at the local store, every day at the cleaners, every day… what have you. And on the other side of the law, who is running the numbers in places like Harlem? Who’s got the power? There’s the local guy but then there’s the man. And the Jewish mafia was very real at that time.

Marc Steiner:  I knew them well. Yes, they were [laughs].

Dave Zirin:  So you have all these complications to the relationships that have led to a lot of tension and a lot of belief that Jewish people are part of the problem in the quest for Black liberation. This came out in a lot of Kyrie Irving’s comments, in terms of the video that he was trying to put forward. But with that comes a great deal of lies and antisemitism that is very at home among the Christian nationalists, right, white in this country. And when Kyrie Irving started to say what he was saying and telling people to see this movie, Hebrews to Negroes, I believe it was called, when he was pushing that virulently anti-Semitic video, look at who was celebrating it.

There were NBA players defending his right to put out anything he wanted on social media because that was an interesting debate too. A lot of them saying, well, wait a minute, the league wants us to be socially active, but as soon as somebody tries to flex that in a way the league thinks is bad for its business, it cracks down on them. A lot of players were like, what is this? But if you look at where Kyrie Irving was celebrated, he was being celebrated in the same corners that Kanye West was being celebrated: Nazi message boards, fascist message boards, that whole idea like, oh, they’re pointing out that the Jews are these blood-sucking people who are out to destroy and all this stuff.

And so they actually attach themselves, strange bedfellows, to someone like Kyrie Irving who they would probably see as completely less than human in the first place.

Marc Steiner:  Absolutely. Right.

Dave Zirin:  So that’s a very long answer but that provides some of the context for understanding that there’s this incredible sense of connectivity between Black people and Jewish people and an incredible sense of division. And it is because of Jews being granted not whiteness but this conditional whiteness like we will allow you to achieve and access the benefits of whiteness. However, if we feel like you are stepping out of being quiet, good burgers, you will be a target.

As we’ve discussed, whether it’s McCarthyism, whether it’s SDS, whether it’s this new generation that we’re seeing in Jewish currents, whether it’s the young Jews who are in the streets around Black Lives Matter. All of a sudden, if you notice, it’s Jews will not replace us by the far right. So that’s that entry into life. That’s the conditional part.

Marc Steiner:  So I want to get into the stuff you’ve written about young Jews. It’s really a critical part of our discussion today. But as you were speaking, I was thinking that everything we wrestle with politically, socially, and culturally in our world is a mass of all the dialogical contradictions inside of it that twists its way around life and existence. And Jews, as in the 16th, 15th centuries through the 19th century because of Christian domination, were supposed to be the moneylenders. They were forced to be moneylenders and do certain jobs that Christians would not do.

And so that morphed into the oppression that many Jews took part in this country when it came to owning corner stores and being landlords and slumlords that I organized rent strikes against in the early ’70s. And to hear the anti-Semitic comments of the people we were organizing against Jews while we were organizing them to rent strike against these landlords. So all that’s there. And now you have these contradictions of the right-wing Christian nationalists who hate Jews but want to hold onto Israel as a tool of oppression and domination. And all that is intertwined. At the same time, you have the heart and soul of the socialists, communists, and labor movements of the ’20s and ’30s in part were Jewish. And that same stream, that same electrical contradiction exists at this moment in the form we face today.

Dave Zirin:  To speak to my own history, it’s like my grandfather on one side was very right-wing. His cousin fought in Spain and he was very close to him. So that’s interesting to have that on the same tree. And my other grandfather, who I was very close to, would tell me stories with tears in his eyes about the job that his family could get so they could live in this housing project which was to collect the rents. And his father got really sick. So at age 14, his job was to go door to door and collect the rent from Black people.

Marc Steiner:  Oh my God.

Dave Zirin:  And he would often be confronted more with tears than anything else. And it wrecked him. It wrecked him. And he said, more often than not I said don’t pay. And then my dad would get mad at me and he was sick but he would have to trudge and get it. And eventually, they moved to Florida [Marc laughs] as prescribed to all Jews.

Marc Steiner:  The other Israel.

Dave Zirin:  Yeah. But it speaks to that. It’s like, so someone says what’s the Jewish political tradition? It’s a lot of things but to me, the tradition that I identify with is one that fights all oppressions, is one that links arms with all peoples, and also is one that owns its own cultural history and listens when people say, these are some of the problems that we’ve had historically in building Black and Jewish relationships. This stuff runs really deep.

Marc Steiner:  Very deep.

Dave Zirin:  And you can’t ignore the scars no matter which community created them, no matter what. You can’t pretend they’re not there. They need to be discussed.

Marc Steiner:  So let me move to the stuff you’ve written about and that many people are talking about now. The latest polls have shown, which you attached to your link in your article for The Nation, that young Jews are shifting –

Dave Zirin:  Dramatically.

Marc Steiner:  – When it comes to Israel-Palestine. Young Jews are moving left in many ways, some inside the Democratic Party, some moving outside the Democratic Party. So let’s talk about what you see there and what contradictions and what movements and what that sets up for the future.

Dave Zirin:  Yeah. What it sets up is, maybe as soon as 2024 – Unless people are too concerned about Trump and rising fascism to raise it –

Marc Steiner:  Which is something to be concerned about [laughs].

Dave Zirin:  – Yeah. I’m in no way saying denigrate anybody’s fear about that but it makes me think it’ll tamp down conventional criticisms. But I’ll tell you this: If they did a vote on the grassroots of the Democratic Party about a disavowal of funding Israel, it would pass. And we’re talking grassroots Democratic Party. I’m not even talking about people who vote Democrat, I’m talking about the people who show up to the convention. A few rounds ago – I’m trying to remember–- It was Obama’s 2012 run, they actually had to stop the calling of a vote that looked like it was going to narrowly pass.

Marc Steiner:  I remember.

Dave Zirin:  Yeah. Do you remember?

Marc Steiner:  Yes.

Dave Zirin:  To me, you ask, what does this lead to? And it’s a great question. It has led to a massive political confrontation with the Democratic Party. Things like President Biden inviting Netanyahu to speak and smiling. That’s going to be unacceptable. And for a lot of people, it’s unacceptable now, or it’s a reason to break from the Democratic Party. Because the Democratic Party… It’s so complicated because the upper reaches of the Republican Party are pro-Israel. Yes. For historical geopolitical reasons and imperial reasons in terms of what it allows it to do in terms of –

Marc Steiner:  And Christian ideology as well.

Dave Zirin:  –There you go. Millenarianism. A huge part of their base. The world’s going to end anyway and that justifies a lot of things from not caring about global warming to all sorts of issues that come from that millenarian mindset. And one of them is to defend Israel at all costs even though the people who live there are all going to hell unless they convert. And it says something about the bankruptcy of the right-wing in Israel that they somehow accept this and say, wow, we love having these amazing partners in the Christo-fascist community that thinks we’re all going to hell. What the heck? But it says something because it says how the allies have dwindled for Israel. And that’s where it’s really changed on our side of the equation.

I know you interviewed Peter Beinart for this series, I’m going to paraphrase what he said because I don’t remember the exact quote, but he said, that when it comes to young Jews, whether they’re going to check their Zionism or political liberalism at the door when they enter a room, they’re going to check the Zionism, which is a big difference from decades past. And so when I’m talking to young Jews, I’m seeing a lot of people – And I do talk to them a decent amount – Being influenced by the Black Lives Matter movement. A lot is being influenced by being anti-oppression, in general. A lot is being influenced by LGBTQ struggles. And seeing all of this as being connected to Palestinian liberation. Which is really interesting because it also raises questions of what we call pinkwashing because Israel likes to raise itself up as the LGBTQ place in the region.

And yet I know Jews who have successfully gotten Israeli flags banned from pride marches because they say that’s actually using our struggle as a reason, as a motivator for oppression in the region. And we stand with the Palestinian people. That’s the other thing about the change: You actually have to think to arrive at a position of opposition to Zionism or even opposition to the Likud section of it like-

Marc Steiner:  The right wing.

Dave Zirin:  — The right wing. Yes. That there is a thinking process that has to happen to get to that point, to oppose pinkwashing and not say, well, they like gay people in Israel. It can’t be that bad. There’s a thinking that has to go on. We suffer from a crisis of imagination sometimes to the point that we can’t even imagine the idea of a state with equal rights for all that could exist in harmony with one another. And I do understand the pessimism. I don’t want to dismiss that out of hand. But at the same time, for those of us who believe in these ideals of human liberation, this is a moment in 2023 where we can’t afford to have a crisis of imagination. We’re going to be saved by imagination because we have to be able to see the world as it isn’t, not merely as it is.

Marc Steiner:  No, exactly. So let’s conclude with this. I’m curious to see how you think that might play out. And I was thinking back to the roots of Israel before it began as a state. People like Yaakov Cahan, who is the founder of the modern Hebrew language, the poet and writer. Martin Buber, the great Jewish philosopher. Albert Einstein. Together, the three of them and others came together and said, no, Israel should not be a Jewish state, it should be a bi-national state. Which is what their line was in ’47, ’48, ’49. And now we come to this place we are now where the contradictions are everywhere because there’s a right-wing, neofascist government in Israel that is clearly oppressing Palestinians and other Jews who don’t agree with what they say.

And you have the anti-Semitism is rife in this world like racism has been rife in this world for a long time. And it’s there and it plays into all of that. So all these massive contradictions are in the midst of that. So I’m curious how you think this plays out, and how you would analyze where the movements go from here in terms of fighting for Palestinian rights, not falling into the world of antisemitism, and building a new world.

Dave Zirin:  You’re going to have –

Marc Steiner:  A lightweight question, of course [laughs].

Dave Zirin:  But it’s the question. Well, I have no crystal ball. Let’s make that clear.

Marc Steiner:  Right.

Dave Zirin:  Right away. At the same time you’re going to see a line and on one side of the line is going to be the bulk of Israeli Jews. On the other side are going to be Jews internationally, not only in the US. That’s the confrontation that’s coming up. And those Jews who are opposing Zionism are also going to be the Jews who are going to be on the front lines opposing fascism. So how interesting is that, that the Christo-fascists are going to be lining up on one side of that line? With not only the Netanyahus of the world but I’ll repeat, the bulk of the population, it’s the settler colonialist mentality. And then on the flip side, you’re going to have people who say no and lead with their Jewish faith by doing it with that slogan, not in our name.

That’s where it’s going. And we’re going to end up in a situation where there’s going to be a lot of power in the hands of people in the US who want to reject Israel as this permanent ally that we give billions of dollars to. But they’re going to be quashed by other interests that want… This debate is going to roil at the grassroots, both inside and outside the Democratic Party. And I usually don’t even care about the inner workings of the Democratic Party. Not because it’s irrelevant to broader politics but I figure so many people care about that. We have to have people who care about what’s happening outside and tend to it, as it were. But a break at that level would be seismic in terms of the ripple effects through organizations, through APAC, through J Street, all the lobbying organizations. And for people who don’t know, APAC is a hard right-wing lobbying group.

In DC, J Street is much more of a left center. But for J Street, J Street is racked with contradictions in terms of its mission. What would it do to J Street with all of its connections in the Democratic Party if the Democratic Party said, yeah? No more blank check for Israel. That would be voted on now and win in the Democratic Party because of the gap between the grassroots and the people kissing Netanyahu’s butt. So where is it going or where could it go are two different questions. Where it’s going is, I’ll quote Public Enemy’s Chuck D: The future holds nothing else but confrontation. That’s where it’s going.

Where could it go? Peace. And peace means a state with equal rights for all to worship as they choose. And anybody who says that could never happen, that’s a fantasy, I respond and say the fantasy is that you can have this quasi-fascist Israeli state right in the middle of the Middle East and say that represents liberation for our people. That to me is far more of a fantasy than the idea of people being able to live together in peace.

Marc Steiner:  Dave Zirin, this has really been a pleasure. I’m glad we had a chance to do this together. There’s so much more to talk about with this but we’ll do that in the future.

Dave Zirin:  I’m thrilled, Marc. Thanks so much for having me.

Marc Steiner:  I really appreciate you being here. And one of the things about our series here, not in our name, is to have a positive outlook that we can make the change, we can make it happen, and we can unite with the right people to make a different world.

Dave Zirin:  And the three letters we didn’t mention, of course, are BDS.

Marc Steiner:  BDS.

Dave Zirin:  Which I shouldn’t split hairs about. I actually believe in that as a time-honored tactic that has a place in politics. And the idea that it’s illegal in Kansas to be for BDS, like laws like that, to me, only speaks to the ludicrous nature of the US. And I will leave it at that.

Marc Steiner:  Look, Kansas also was the home of The Wizard of Oz [laughs].

Dave Zirin:  But this idea that you could be sanctioned for importing coffee from the West Bank or something is absurd.

Marc Steiner:  Ridiculous.

Dave Zirin:  So BDS, Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions; absolutely critical. Israel calls it an existential threat because it speaks to the question of whether they could exist. I say the question of existence is about the existence of an apartheid state, not about the state itself.

Marc Steiner:  Dave Zirin, thanks so much.

Dave Zirin:  Thank you.

Marc Steiner:  And continue listening to Dave here on The Real News, Edge of Sports, and read him in The Nation, at Edge of Sports, and all those fantastic books that come out. And we are really happy that Dave is part of our family here at The Real News right now. Dave, thanks so much.

Dave Zirin:  I’m thrilled.

Marc Steiner:  I hope you enjoyed our conversation today with Dave Zirin. Please continue listening or tune in to his work Edge of Sports right here on The Real News. Thank you all for joining us today. And thanks to David Hebden and Kayla Rivara behind the scenes and everyone here at The Real News for making this show possible.

Please let me know what you’ve thought about what you heard today and what you’d like us to cover. Write to me at and I’ll get right back to you. And while you’re here, please go to Become a monthly donor during their summer drive and become part of the future with us. So for the crew here at The Real News, I’m Mark Steiner. Stay involved, keep listening, and take care.

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Host, The Marc Steiner Show
Marc Steiner is the host of "The Marc Steiner Show" on TRNN. He is a Peabody Award-winning journalist who has spent his life working on social justice issues. He walked his first picket line at age 13, and at age 16 became the youngest person in Maryland arrested at a civil rights protest during the Freedom Rides through Cambridge. As part of the Poor People’s Campaign in 1968, Marc helped organize poor white communities with the Young Patriots, the white Appalachian counterpart to the Black Panthers. Early in his career he counseled at-risk youth in therapeutic settings and founded a theater program in the Maryland State prison system. He also taught theater for 10 years at the Baltimore School for the Arts. From 1993-2018 Marc's signature “Marc Steiner Show” aired on Baltimore’s public radio airwaves, both WYPR—which Marc co-founded—and Morgan State University’s WEAA.