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Ask Gayleen 3 — Negative What Ifs













Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Interviewee: Gayleen Cornelius

Numbering: Issue 2: Here We Go

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: Question Time

Web Domain:

Individual Publication Date: February 10, 2019

Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2019

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 690

Keywords: Gayleen Cornelius, Progressivism, Scott Douglas Jacobsen, South Africa.

Gayleen Cornelius is a South African human rights activist from Willowmore; a tiny town in the Eastern Cape province. She grew up a coloured (the most ethnically diverse group in the world with Dutch, Khoisan, Griqua, Zulu, Xhosa Indian and East Asian ancestry). Despite being a large Demographic from Cape Town to Durban along the coast, the group is usually left out of the racial politics that plague the nation. She has spoken out against identity politics, racism, workplace harassment, religious bigotry and different forms of abuse. She is also passionate about emotional health and identifies as an empath/ humanist. Here we talk about South Africa and progressivism.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: If South Africa did not become the world’s most progressive country in Africa, what would the situation look like now?

Gayleen Cornelius: If South Africa hadn’t been progressive there would be way too much hate and possibly violence and civil war. South Africa is a very diverse country with 14 national languages.

Historically rival ethnic groups like the Zulu and the Xhosa would have continued with the tribalist violence that almost got out of hand before the reconciliation programs in 1994.

Xenophobia against other African nationalities would have been violent and gruesome. Racism wouldn’t have progressed at all since the Apartheid era and boiled out to a civil war.

The LGBTQ community wouldn’t have come out of hiding fearing for their lives. These are situations that many people considered inevitable when Nelson Mandela assumed power in 1994 but he did a great job implementing a culture of progressivism and averting all the tribalism, racism and bigotry.

Jacobsen: In the possibility of a regression in the relations between citizens in South Africa, what are threats to progressivism there? What are things to watch out for?

Cornelius: The race issue is the most volatile fir as long as I can remember. We still have a large number of white supremacists from the who weren’t very happy about the end of Apartheid because they benefited a lot from it.

There have been many cases of white farmers killing their black workers for sport and various surveys have shown that a great number of farm workers are sexually abused by these farmers.

Some black workers have retaliated and also murdered white farmers and the tension these cases cause have soured race relations.

Racism has threatened a lot of aspects affecting South African civil society and that has led to the rise of a far left wing of black nationalists and an alt right wing of white nationalists.

The populist sentiments that have risen through Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters and the Afrikaner community’s Afriforum can possibly worsen identity politics and if any one of them get into power in 2019, it would be a newer version of Apartheid all over again.

That is the single and most imminent threat to progressivism in South Africa and a lot has to be done to prevent the worst from happening

Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Gayleen.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen founded In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. He authored/co-authored some e-books, free or low-cost. If you want to contact Scott:

Image Credit: Gayleen Cornelius.

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In-Sight Publishing and Question Time by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
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© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and Question Time 2012-2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and Question Time with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  All interviewees co-copyright their interview material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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