TikTokers are now using their massive followings on the popular social media platform to bring awareness to cases of missing Black and brown people in the wake of the intense media spotlight in the Gabby Petito case.
When Canadian TikToker Layla Jama posted two back-to-back videos on Gabby Petitio’s case earlier this week, many of her nearly 750,000 followers left comments urging her to pay attention to other missing people as well, some even using the hashtag #FindJelaniDay in reference to the then missing Illinois State University Grad Student.
By Tuesday, Jama made a TikTok, urging the public to “Stop and listen, you should care about missing Black people too.”
Lama’s post is a part of a growing campaign in response to the attention Petitio’s case got when there are just as many missing person cases, primarily of people of color, that are largely ignored.
Lama’s TikTok included a news clip of Jelani’s mother, Carmen Bolden, calling out the tragic double standard.
“I know about Gabby, the missing girl,” a tearful Bolden said in the clip. “And she’s been missing for two days, and her face is plastered everywhere, and the FBI is involved, and I do not understand why Jelani doesn’t get that same coverage.”
Jama ended the post by asking her followers to “go do your FBI and detective work and find him.”
The TikTok post got over 1 million views and over 80,000 shares, including a repost from Lizzo, who also used the hashtag #FindJelaniDay.