Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks as he announces a proposal for Digital Bill of Rights, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023, at Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Fla. Credit: Wilfredo Lee / AP

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While claiming to defend Christian values, the Florida governor does his best to white wash our country’s history and cripple its future as a diverse and democratic nation. He seeks to prettify America’s past by banning facts about slavery, civil rights, the genocide of native peoples, and more. He continually disparages the LGBTQ+ community and even seeks to ban minors from attending “drag” entertainment.

His attacks on this entertainment reveal his ignorance or disregard of the Eurocentric traditions he claims to uphold. Opera, a cultural treasure born and nurtured in Europe, has traditionally featured women appearing in male roles (trouser roles) and males singing female roles. These components of opera helped make it one of the most popular art forms in the world, a popularity that has endured for 400 years.

I hope that the beautiful music and high notes of Florida’s 16 opera companies will drown out the very low notes of a culture warrior who appears to know very little about culture and even less about democracy.

John Curtis