Posted February 05, 2018 07:22:25 When social media erupted over the weekend with outrage over the death of comedian Seth Meyers, a University of Michigan professor was not far behind.
A professor at Michigan State University, Liz Marie, told ABC News she has a special “sensitivity training” to help students stop becoming “toxic and destructive” in social media.
“This is a very important thing to do,” Marie said.
“We need to be aware of what’s going on.”
Marie is the chair of the social science department of MSU’s College of Arts and Sciences and the author of a new book, “Sensory Distress: How to Stop a Social Media Rallies and Cries of Hatred.”
She told ABCNews.com she has trained students to “read the signals” of others in their social media conversations, then use her “preference for empathy and empathy for others” to counter the negativity.
She said students are taught to “use the social media signal of the other person to tell them what they’re saying is wrong.”
“We’re taught that there’s a lot of negativity going on and that we need to stop it,” she said.
Marie’s training is a form of mindfulness, which focuses on the mind, body and mind-body connection.
She has taught a class for more than a year and said she’s received “overwhelming feedback” on how she teaches the course.
“I think people are becoming very, very aware of social media and how toxic it can be,” Maries said.
She also said her training involves talking to other students and talking about what’s happening in the social space.
“The other day I got an email from a student saying, ‘I’ve been having trouble following up on my homework,'” she said, adding she thought the email was a “really bad idea.”
The class is offered online at www.sensorydistress.com.
Maries told ABCnews.com that one of her students, an African American woman, came to class one day and asked for help.
“She was just having trouble with her work, her classes,” Maried said.
The woman, who did not want to be identified, told Maries that the professor had recently written a blog post on social media about the deaths of Black men.
“When I was reading that post, I just saw a pattern of her having an anger problem,” Mariah said.
Mablog.com has a page with pictures of Mablaming celebrities, with one picture showing actor Josh Hutcherson.
The page is a link to the video, “Why We Must End Blackness,” by actor/comedian Eddie Griffin.
In the video Griffin said: “You cannot be white, you cannot be straight, you can’t be gay, you’re a white male, you have no idea what black is.
You are just as good as a white guy.”
Griffin, who is black, said in the video that he believes the people who hate him are not really fans of black people.
Griffin also told ABCNEWS.com he was inspired by a post on a black woman’s Facebook page about the death in police custody of Tamir Rice, a Cleveland boy who was shot and killed by police last year.
The post, posted on February 19, said the girl’s mother had asked for her daughter’s cellphone number and asked to be allowed to call her.
When she told her it was not her phone number, the post said, the girl was “trying to get through to her.”
The post included a picture of a black boy wearing a police uniform.
“In the back of her mind she knew this was the wrong person to be calling her,” Mariam said.
In response to questions about why he chose to share that video, Griffin said in a Facebook message, “I am just as guilty as anybody else, and I’m tired of seeing these racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-black, anti-” posts on my Facebook page.
“Mariam, who says she is a “white, male, straight” and has “no idea what white is,” said she has not been able to reach Griffin, but has heard he has apologized.
Griffin has not responded to ABC News’ request for comment. “
He was in the middle of the video and the comments were racist, misogynistic, homophobic and anti-white, anti–black, racist,” Marian said.
Griffin has not responded to ABC News’ request for comment.
“These people are getting the message, they’re being led by the people in power, and they’re following orders,” Marije Mariam added.
Mariah told ABC NEWS that her training is focused on how to “embrace” the other people in your social space, whether that’s in person, online or by phone