New photos released by the Massachusetts State Police show just how tight of a corner Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was backed into Friday night. Reporters were kept away from the scene and relied heavily on police scanner traffic to follow along with the action, and at some point during the standoff they heard that the boat in which Tsarnaev was hiding had caught on fire and had perhaps 20 to 40 gallons of gasoline on board. Add to those reports the apparent sound of flash grenades, and more than a few people were convinced they were in for a repeat of the Christopher Dorner standoff.

That didn’t happen, but for more than a few people the reason was clear: Tsarnaev is a white man, and that white privilege we’ve heard so much about apparently extends to death by fire.

We’re not sure yet why Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s white privilege failed to shield him from police officers’ bullets, but we’re sure there’s a theory for that as well. Maybe David Sirota will explain it in Salon next week.

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