What's up with this candidate's "Terracotta" campaign ad?

"Not Like the Rest of the Crowd"

Is this for real? What exactly is Philip Putnam getting at with this campaign ad?

Putnam, who is running for re-election to the South Pasadena City Council, recently ran this print ad in the South Pasadena Review touting himself as "Not Like the Rest of the Crowd" with a bad Photoshop job of him standing out amongst several rows of Terracotta warrior statues. It's kind of confounding.

Can I point out the possible racial implications of this ad?

Asians make up 35% of South Pasadena -- this is significant. Is Putnam clumsily trying to appeal to the Asian voter base with the barely relevant use of Chinese imagery? "Philip Putnam Is For ALL South Pasadena."

Or is Councilmember Putnam making a comment about standing out as a white candidate in a sea of anonymous Asian faces? Perhaps indelicately expressing an uneasiness about the city's rapidly growing Asian population, which grew over 26% from 2000 to 2010, according to the U.S. Census.

(To be fair, it appears that none of the other candidates are of Asian descent.)

Hell, maybe the councilman is just a really big fan of Chinese sculptures. I have no idea. Whatever the intent, it comes off as culturally insensitive, and at the very least, it makes Philip Putnam look rather ridiculous.

(Thanks, Brenda.)

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