Saturday, June 12, 2021

Ed Gray, NDG Senior Columnist: Crystal Mason, A Political Prisoner

Crystal Mason (left) with her attorney Kim T. Mason (right) (Image via Crystal’s Facebook profile)

Straight Talk by Ed Gray

In my latest “My Voice My Opinion” of Oct. 7 as viewed on WFAA 8, I spoke out against the Republican-inspired plan of voter suppression. This voter suppression seeks to limit the effect of black voter turnout.

In Tarrant County, this has resulted in the federal imprisonment of Crystal Mason for voting a provisional ballot. The provisional ballot did not count; however, the Republican Party selected her as their poster child to solidify their base. Crystal voted while under court-ordered supervision, for this she was sentenced to ten months in federal prison, with a possibility of an additional five years in state prison.

The Republican Party has made it their cause to malign Democrats and their supporters by stating most voter fraud is committed by Democrats. The President of the United States has played this Trump card as well, by invoking a campaign to drive down the votes of young, black, and female voters. To this end, Crystal Mason has become the political pin-up of Republican opportunism for voter suppression.

Crystal Mason is young, black, and female; ironically this is the most political dominant segment in Dallas County. The Dallas County courthouse, a mere 30 miles away from Tarrant County, boasts a significant amount of elected black female judges. The wave of the future in North Texas is political power and African American women. Crystal, though not a political leader, has emerged as a political prisoner.

Voting is the glue holding democracy together. However, the suppression of the vote only weakens democracy. Republicans make political prisoners of Crystal Mason, whereas they champion their own Republicans even when they commit voter fraud.

In Tarrant County, former Justice of the Peace Russ Casey was allowed to resign, after he pled guilty to voter fraud, and subsequently given probation. Meanwhile, in Dallas, Justice of the Peace Brian Hutcheson was found guilty of voter fraud, not sentenced to jail, but instead was offered the opportunity to run for election against Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.

Clearly, the only voter fraud perpetrated is when there is disparate treatment of black women and white men in the judicial system. Powerful white men are set free and even run for elected office, whereas, Crystal Mason, a black woman, languishes in jail yearning to be free.

I am Ed Gray, and this is Straight Talk.

Ed Gray, the host of The Commish Radio Show airing Saturdays 3-5 p.m. on, can be reached at


  1. Ms. Mason is indeed a political prisoner – in a country that has many hidden political prisoners. It would seem that the Rethuglicans would show more consideration for the tenets that we are told the US is built around – like “majority rule” based on voting. But every day brings more evidence that they support plutocracy – certainly not democracy. They want a nation ruled by a few rich families like it was in 1776. At that time slavery and child labor were totally legal and women could not vote and Indians who defended their land were considered terrorist. That is what they mean when they say “make America great again”.

    What is so bad is that so few people recognize how critical our actions are in these times. I am told that in the last Dallas election, only 6% of the registered voters actually voted. That means only 6 people out of a hundred went to the polls and expressed themselves by voting. It is possible to lose the right to vote because we don’t use our right to vote.

    …and then we have Nogrows like Kanye…


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