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Cancel culture has come for Genghis Khan



Rachel Kiley

Internet Culture

Posted on Aug 15, 2020

It seems we can’t go a single day without Twitter declaring that someone is canceled. Sometimes, the call outs are in response to valid concerns, such as pedophilia or racism. Other times, the outrage appears blown out of proportion if not downright ridiculous, like earlier this week when people accused Lizzo of being predatory toward Harry Styles.

But a recent thread about Genghis Khan—yes, the 13th-century conqueror Genghis Khan—has people taking cancel culture to new heights.

In a thread that has subsequently been locked, a Twitter user went on a lengthy rant against Genghis Khan and all the conquering he did across Asia.

“THREAD: Genghis Khan did to central Asia what islamic invaders did to India, maybe worse,” she posited. “He single handedly killed 11% of world population at the time. Yet some want to glorify him as a hero conquerer. That’s your personal choice, but objectively, Genghis Kahn was a barbarian.”

The rest of the thread has been preserved here.

According to Meaww, the initial tweet received at least 2,000 retweets and 5,000 likes before the user locked down her account—enough attention for a good number of folks on Twitter to scratch their heads over why anyone was taking the time to fret over canceling someone who’s been dead for literal centuries.

Once the initial confusion passed, folks were all too ready to join the #GenghisKhanIsOverParty.

“Are there any unproblematic Mongolian warlords I can stan anymore?” asked @visquit.

But probably the best thing to come from this completely non-urgent cancelation of a guy we all only know through history books is that a lot of people are treating it as any other internet cancelation, hitting the familiar notes that come with valid call outs in such a way that provides just the slightest comic relief from all the drama that is the entirety of 2020.

While most claims that “cancel culture” has gone too far revolve around not wanting to hold public figures accountable for their shady behavior, it certainly seems fair to say that canceling Genghis Khan in 2020 is maybe just a bridge too far—or, at the very least, not a priority considering all the dire and urgent things happening in the world right now.

And yet, this time, the jokes have made it all worth it.

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*First Published: Aug 15, 2020, 4:22 pm CDT