Skip to content

Ask Gayleen 3 — Negative What Ifs


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): The Good Men Project

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2019/03/16

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.

The context for South Africa simply comes out as one of the most progressive countries in the world. Without the progressive movement, South Africa would be in a terrible mess due to the human problem at the source of many societal issues in many countries.

The problem of racism and its outpourings through the generations. It is, simply put, an illusion with real implications and disastrous consequences for the lives of individual citizens, for groups, and, indeed, for the health and wellness & wealth of societies around the world.

Cornelius stated, “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.”

One perennial threat to progressive shifts to a more peaceful and just society, especially in terms of race relations, is towards animosity or antipathy with one another. Even with th knowledge of the tree of life and the terminology of species, there can still be instances of problems for all peoples coming into the world. It can be problems of the race as too embedded in the social networks and the social fabric.

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,” Cornelius said, “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.”

There has been retaliation by black workers with murders of white farmers. Neither situation helps with the peace and just desired by most South Africans. Racisms threatens the fabric of South African society. However, it does not mean all hope is or should be lost.

“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,” Cornelius opined.


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. 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 with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: