From 'Chain Gang Charlie' Crist to 'Woke' Supporter of Critical Race Theory

From 'Chain Gang Charlie' Crist to 'Woke' Supporter of Critical Race Theory

Can he have it both ways?

Javier Manjarres
Javier Manjarres
December 15, 2021

The controversial Critical Race Theory (CRT) continues to be at the forefront of American politics, and in Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis is pushing for legislation to ban the education concept, while Rep. Charlie Crist is doubling down on his support for CRT.

Shortly after Gov. DeSantis announced his “Stop W.O.K.E Act,” Rep. Charlie Crist, who is running against DeSantis in the 2020 gubernatorial sweepstakes in Florida, tweeted, “Yeah, I support CRT.”

Rep. Crist joins fellow Democratic gubernatorial candidate and Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried, in openly supporting the education measure that many academics and politicos believe pushes a racist agenda.

“If you look at how some of this stuff manifests itself in classrooms that we have seen examples of, it's not a conspiracy theory,” said Gov.DeSantis. “Dividing kids based on race, trying to say some are pressers and some are oppress based on race, attacking law enforcement saying law enforcement attacks people based on race.”

But while Rep. Crist now supports CRT, his new position on the education concept could conflict with his past support for criminal justice reforms that many civil rights leaders and activists call “Jim Crow Era” or racist against Black Americans.

“Chain gang Charlie” was the catchy nickname that stuck to Crist for his support of those aforementioned criminal justice reforms, including his leadership in the effort to mandate that prison work crews or “chain gangs” be shackled while out in the field.

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Javier Manjarres

Javier Manjarres

Javier Manjarres is a nationally renowned award-winning political journalist and Publisher of,,, and He enjoys traveling, playing soccer, mixed martial arts, weight-lifting, swimming, and biking. Javier is also a political consultant and has also authored "BROWN PEOPLE," which is a book about Hispanic Politics. Follow on Twitter: @JavManjarres Email him at

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