Online suggestion for Emancipation Park rename causes Dispute
Hype Life Magazine has gathered that a petition has been launched on Facebook by fans of track star Usain Bolt who want the popular Emancipation Park, located in New Kingston, to be renamed in the athlete’s honour.
The petitioners argued that the naked statues should be removed and replaced with Bolt’s image and suggested that the park should be called Usain Bolt Park.
Bolt’s victories at the 15th IAAF World Championships in Beijing are certainly the most-talked about, globally. However, not many Jamaicans supported the suggestion of the statue or name change.
What was intended to produce attention to Usain Bolt’s accomplishments, quickly became an online tug of war between die-hard fans of sprinter and others who felt that Emancipation Park is a national landmark and should remain as such.
One Facebook user, Chellito, was of the view that renaming the park in Bolt’s honour would be a blatant act of disrespect.
“Who the f… is Usain Bolt to rename our beloved Emancipation Park in honour of him? The word emancipation exemplified our history, where we were to where we are now, a symbol of pride and struggle. Usain has done well and kudos to him, but I can bet my bottom dollar that Usain himself would find this renaming phenomenon quite disrespectful to national pride,” he posted.
However, he was swiftly corrected by Wayne Boothe, who believes Jamaica is not yet emancipated and Bolt should be bestowed with the honour.
“What does Emancipation Park symbolise? To highlight the freedom of black people in Jamaica. We are still trapped in a perpetual downward spiral characterised by brutality by agents of the state (the police), highest murder rate in the Caribbean, the highest levels of poverty, second only to Haiti, deplorable health-care system, very high unemployment rate, lack of ambulance service for every single citizen, trillions of dollars in debt to the World Bank and IMF, never ending long lines at the US Embassy because people are trying to escape this land of emancipation,” he posted.
The debate continued with some persons even suggesting that if Bolt deserved such an honour, so did other local athletes.
“My take is them never build a park for Asafa and Veronica nor the others. So why for Usain? That would be a waste of money because the roads want fixing and water wanted. Yes, we salute them, but build a road or something that cost less,” Manning posted.
The petition was shared 1,500 times since Bolt defeated drug cheat Justin Gatlin in the 200 metres at the World Championships in Beijing, China, last-week.
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In relating news, the Mayor of Falmouth Councillor Garth Wilkinson is also calling for a statue of Usain Bolt to be erected in Falmouth, the capital of Trelawny, in honour of this great man who is from the parish.
“He has done so much internationally as an athlete. Therefore, he deserves a statue of him to be erected,” the mayor said.
He added that Bolt has shown characteristics of perseverance, stamina, strength, among other attributes that are highly commendable even outside of sports.