Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.
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(CNN) – While the prosecution has tried to steer clear of the race conversation during the George Zimmerman murder trial, prosecutor John Guy questioned: What if it were George Zimmerman walking home that night?
“This case is not about race – it’s about right and wrong,” Guy said Friday while closing the state’s case. If it were Zimmerman who was shot, “What would your verdict be? That’s how you know it’s not about race.”
Jelani Cobb, contributing writer for the New Yorker, said “nothing certifies that something is about race more than an unsolicited denial that something is about race.”
“So absolutely, race is at the heart of this,” Cobb told CNN’s Jake Tapper appearing on “The Lead” on Friday. “If this wasn’t a matter about race, we wouldn’t be here but from his stand point doesn’t want to seem as if he is race-baiting.”
The jury began deliberating the case on Friday afternoon following the conclusion of closing arguments.
“Race, as I’ve said a number of times, functions like a boomerang. If you put it out there if comes right back at you,” Cobb continued.
The judge ruled that the term "profiling" can be used in the case, but not as it relates to race. Though as Cobb notes, while there were few explicit instances, the issue of race was an important undertone throughout the trial.
“This case has followed the same contours of the way we handle race in the border society, which is to say that we talk about it by not talking about it,” Cobb said.