The term Racial Reconciliation has been used in Christian, religious and social justice circles for a very long time. However, as I have learned, experienced and understood more about the racial injustices of the United States and the American church, I have begun to realize the inappropriateness of this term. So below are 10 reasons why I'm switching from using the term 'Racial Reconciliation' to instead using the term 'Racial Conciliation.'
1. 'Reconciliation' is defined as "the act of causing two people or groups to become friendly again after an argument or disagreement.
2. 'Conciliation' is defined as "to overcome distrust or hostility; to mediate between two disputing people or groups."
3. Reconciliation assumes a previously friendly or amicable relationship.
4. Conciliation makes no such assumption.*
5. Reconciliation assumes the end result will be a good, even harmonious, relationship.
6. Conciliation makes no such assumption.*
7. Reconciliation is the process needed to restore a broken marriage or heal a wounded friendship.
8. Conciliation is the process needed in a nation that was founded on land stolen from Natives and built on the backs of enslaved African people.
9. Racial Reconciliation perpetuates a false historical narrative regarding race relations in the United States.
10. Racial Conciliation is a far more accurate term (given the historic and present day reality of race relations in the US).
- Mark Charles
*Conciliation may not assume that a relationship started, or will end, harmoniously. But it does not preclude it either.