It’s not about “the job” — It’s about the connection
Caitlin, you are so spot on. You are talking about genuine intelligent conversation across socioeconomic class. This is probably the most essential skill needed for effective white:white organizing. Got any primers, resources, references, tips?
I learned I have to be comfortable in my own skin and not hear every descriptive statement as a personal attack. Speaking plainly & saying things as perceived are necessary communication skills. It can be a challenge to find more basic words to get a point across when some fancy-ass big word feels perfect: but middle-class and up whites need to lose the selfish communication goal in favor of a cooperative one.
Seeking, finding and following thru on any opening to show respect is essentisl, too. Folks been surviving an inhospitable system for a long time. There’s intelligence which can teach and inspire.