Jacob Blake says race is absolutely at play in Kyle Rittenhouse's trial, arguing ... if the guy was not white, he'd very likely be thrown in prison without a second thought.
The man whose police-involved shooting sparked the Kenosha protests where Rittenhouse opened fire spoke to TMZ about the case -- and like many observing the trial, he believes the 18-year-old is about to skate due to white privilege.
We'll let JB speak for himself here, but the bottom line is ... if Rittenhouse were a POC, he'd swiftly be found guilty and wouldn't be hailed a hero.
As for why Blake thinks race is a factor -- he points to the now-infamous photo of Rittenhouse posing with guys in a bar after he'd posted bond, and flashing what many perceived as a white supremacy sign.
You gotta watch how he characterizes this because he's not labeling Rittenhouse as good or bad, but more as someone who had no business inserting himself in the Kenosha protests.
According to Jacob, all the aftermath following his shooting -- Kyle's saga, as well as the destruction in Kenosha -- is an unfortunate byproduct of what he considers the larger, unresolved, issues between police and POC.
Regardless of the jury's verdict for Rittenhouse ... Jacob says he hopes people will refrain from more rioting.
One final thing ... Jacob gave us an update on how he's doing personally, with his health, and otherwise. Sounds like he's getting unsolicited attention and celebrity, but in reality, he says he doesn't wanna be the poster child for any of this.
Also ... he says he forgives Officer Rusten Sheskey for shooting him 7 times -- and harbors no ill will toward him or his family.