Activist With an Agenda: Stephan 'Bax' Baxter

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Activist With an Agenda: Stephan 'Bax' Baxter
Rickett & Sones

The black-framed glasses come off the face of Stephan "Bax" Baxter and clunk onto the table between us. His shock of graying, flyaway, un-styled Jim Jarmusch-esque hair spills into his face, then is moved quickly with a flick of his hand. We're talking about Kelly Thomas, and the conversation, long and lively, becomes even more animated. Baxter knew the schizophrenic homeless man, gave him handouts, even let him sleep on his couch and use his shower when the weather was inclement, and he's furious about the "not guilty" verdict handed to two of the police officers who beat him to death.

"A troubled human being, one of the weakest in our community," he seethes, "destroyed by the Fullerton PD and enabled by their leadership. It goes against the fucking core of me."

Currently owner/curator of the Egan Gallery in Fullerton, Baxter is the founder/organizer of the socially conscious fund-raising entity Art With an Agenda, which stages exhibitions built around a charitable cause, including marriage equality, homelessness, and one centered on the Kelly Thomas killing in 2012 that drew national attention. Such a public presence is the culmination of an unlikely transformation: The son of conservative Catholic parents, Baxter was a shy outsider growing up in Glasgow with bad skin and a wicked stutter. Slow disillusion with the church and the liberation of punk-rock music moved him in a different direction than the priesthood: the arts.

"I tried everything: punk-rock band, standup comic, writing fanzines," he says. But Baxter lacked the required focus, switching from art history to political science in college before dropping out altogether after a bad breakup with a girlfriend. He never went back, despite being a few credits shy of a degree, instead taking paralegal classes and working in the offices of flamboyant lawyer Alan M. May. A former Nixon White House aide, decorated Green Beret, pro bono champion for the Vietnamese community and gay man who died of AIDS in 1991, May became an important mentor to Baxter, encouraging the young man to go from being "someone who didn't speak out . . . to someone who did."

He bows gracefully to Hibbleton Gallery curator Jesse La Tour as the first person in the community to make it a point to ask Fullerton's city government about Thomas' beating, following the proceedings himself initially only as a "member of the pack." But Baxter's eventual notoriety as an activist able to speak directly to the heart of Thomas' death with eloquence and passion (as well as profane fury if he feels he's being misunderstood) has made him a lightning rod for the ire of police families. Even individuals who don't know his personal connection to the case and random strangers have spouted abuse at him, even, one time, while waiting in a Ralphs check-out line to buy milk and cereal.

Baxter is haunted by the standard bane of activists: not seeing what you fight for happen during your lifetime. "While my goals haven't been accomplished, I know I've had an effect," he says. "It mitigates the collateral damage." Unfortunately, that collateral damage is the collapse of his marriage, the fact that he's no longer a golden boy at work, and the loss of several close friendships, as well as the shitty health, insomnia and forgetfulness that signals depression.

"Outrage itself has value. . . . It means something," he says. "Society failed Kelly not because he was homeless, but because he wasn't a cop. We didn't know that before, and we do now."

He tries to keep things in perspective: "Society is built for me. I'm white, privileged. I can bounce back. I'm not going anywhere," he proclaims. "I'm still focused on creating an asshole-free Fullerton."

 
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13 comments
Brainsobarbie
Brainsobarbie

Mr May, is not worthy of grace or respect. Anyone claiming he was a decent person is either lying,  a complete dolt or  on the payroll of PNAC . Contrary to  Mr Baxters, obscene obvious tone setting reviews regarding historical events and the people involved in those events is pathetic at best. The facts still remain, May was one of the men, who was the AUTHOR of the OCTOBER surprise. Don't remember that ? Aside from being one of sickest republican/covert money laundering operation, that stained our standings in the World Opinion. The crime? May was perfectly willing to let 44 American Hostages die to fill his AGENDA and profit handsomely. Reminder for those  too young: The Iranian Ayatollah,  had our hostages- due to the fact Carter, allowed the Shah to enter our country causing a horrific blow back from the people of Iran- who in defiance  took over our embassy and a large group of employees captive thus making them hostages, to reflect the outrage towards the American Government for housing the Shah of Iran, a known CIA asset/puppet. The students in Tehran took the hostages.

This pathetic excuse of a man May, made it possible, for 40 million dollars, to be given to the Ayatollah. He aided and abetted, made arraignments for then, CIA mass killer-GHW Bush to  deliver boxes of cash, into the hot  waiting  hands of  the Iranian operators in France. The payment, all but ensured  those American hostage would  NOT be released until AFTER the elections. Oh they could kill, them just not release them prior to election in November. Ring a bell? While, we were all asked  to pray and place yellow ribbons around our tree's to show solidarity with our hostage brethren, your hero was buying them more time to be tortured. It was, your hero. May ,who made it possible for our Hostages to stay and extra 77 days in captivity, while the political process played out its pathetic rigged course. I wont even mention, due to time limitations, the decorated war hero's that were killed in the desert trying to free the Hostages, while your buddy was ensuring hostages captivity. May, was brazen  about his crimes and did them with praise from uninformed people like you. How he  continued to enjoy his freedom, while truly being a complete traitor to this country and all its citizens, is frightening.

Just to mention for fun, Mays connection to  drug running/arms dealings out of Cabazon, where there is awful lot of  dead bodies with his finger prints all over them . He was a vile, pederast and if you want to rewrite history, that is fine, do it in your own library, but to mislead the Orange County people  on purpose- who would do that? My answer would be, if alive Mr. Liar Himself May would of.

Lets direct the reader to the  murder at CSUF, and trial of  post war Vietnam immigrant  Mr Van Lam. The OC prosecution wanted to show, that it, the murder, was  in fact a political hit, even Lams family, was in agreement on the political hit, along with  a bevy of other witness',  there was vast amount of money from drug running involved through the CIA's drug fest- from the Vietnam era- through the states. In an un-organic twist of events May steps up, uses his own money about 300 thousand dollars ( tax records show he made less than that in two year span- where did he get that kind of money)defending this murderer of a  well liked professor who's studies were INDO-china.  If one were to look objectively into,  May and his muses- one would be forced to  speculate a lot of the drug running, guns and power -it would be remiss of me, not to mention, the staggering  profits  that amazingly were not even mentioned during the trial after Mays appearance on the scene-weird isn't it?  The whole script changes.The states witness,the man who testified to support  the theory of a  political hit, they( nefarious group aren't they) deemed his words unworthy,( apparently not for the grand jury-they bought the story, enough to bring charges). One would have to ask yourself, why would May care about this little, if we are to believe ,his own words, little Asian homosexual boy in love with this fascinating professor?  With May effectively cock blocking, it diminished the possibility of any real investigation into those allegations, doesn't it? Who was that started and  promoted the love story?  Why would May refuse to illuminate those crimes of high treason and human rights violations? He alone had participated in all those crimes as well, he knows what deceit looks like. What a good little lap dog, he was. The state had  proof of drugs, and arms,  and - your words here-" the champion for the little guy"-May, in his scheming, reptilian illegal profitable  wisdom, decides the rest of the world needs drugs, money and corruption  he alone did a great job making it almost impossible for anyone to uncover any truth regarding the murder of a CSUF professor. He still gets your endorsement? You know who else holds the same warm feelings about Mr. May the election stealing terrorist ? Karl Rove. You two, share the same  love and admiration for money laundering May. Birds of a feather, what's the old adage?

To even go further. To be fair. I contacted  one of the hostages via email with the article above. He was startled that anyone would promote the man who lengthened his captivity, during a tense time in our country, it validated my cause for concern. Here is a quote" Son of a bitch, should have been hung, for treason, that  lizard procured and delivered THE payment to a  US State Department verified terrorist organization to continue their unlawful  imprisonment of our citizens just to get his AGENDA  met."   He refused to hold any thoughts on Mr Baxters  limited revision of May, but he did mention Karl Rove and Mr Baxter hold the same view on May as stated above.  I sincerely doubt Mr Baxter knew any of this? The question would be, Does Mr Baxter still stand by the man who PERSONALLY set up the payments to ruin hostage negotiations through our state department, so he could win an election for the likes of GHW Bush? Does he?

roxxyrn
roxxyrn

Bax is one of the most humble, big hearted, men I know whose integrity and fighting for what is right and just has been his focus and his only focus. He has unselfishly dedicated his heart and soul at the cost of his health, relationships, and job. I and so many others are grateful for your efforts.

barbiewanna_b
barbiewanna_b

Thanks BAX!

You make the world a better place!!!! 

ocjusticewarrior
ocjusticewarrior

Thank you, Bax, for all you do to make our world a better place!  Ignore the haters and know you are appreciated and loved by many..... including Kelly Thomas!

sanderskeith17
sanderskeith17

HE HAS RELEASED PICTURES OF ERNIE A HOMELESS MAN HE KNEW EVEN ORGINIZED A MEMORIAL AT THE SLIMEBAR WHERE THE TELEPHONE CALL ORIGINATED FROM THAT LED TO DISPATCH OF RAMOS AND 5 OTHERS WHO KILLED KELLY ...... BAXTER HAD SAID HE ALLOWED KELLY TO SLEEP ON THE BALCONY ...... TODAY IT HIS COUCH AND ALLOWED SHOWERS..... OH CAN U PUBLISH ONE PICTURE OF KELLY THOMAS INSIDE YOUR PLACE OF RESIDENCE .... I SAW ALOT OF ERNIE ..... IN FACT I HAVE THE VERY LAST KNOWN PICTURES OF ERNIE AT ERNIE'S REQUEST HE ASKED ME TO SNAP SOME PICS 2 DAYS BEFORE HE CHECKED INTO THE GRAND HE WAS HAPPY AND ACTUALY WANTED COPYS ...BUT HE NEVE CAME TO RECIEVE THEM .... COME ON BAXTER ART AND PICTURES AND SELF PROMOTION IS YOUR AGENDA .... 

KELLYWASKILLEDBYYOU
KELLYWASKILLEDBYYOU

Fucking BOOT LICKER!!!!!

Fullerton is a joke because of this Agendized scum bag!!!!

Go believe the script he wrote with Ron Thomas if you want a fairy tail....

KELLY DIED BECAUSE OF 6 FULLERTON PIGS AND THIS DOUCHE GOT FAMOUS FOR IT!!!!

SICK EGOMANIAC...

OH AND HE TRIED TO DROWNED MY FEMALE FRIEND IN HIS SWIMMING POOL WHILE ON A DRUG INDUCED DRUNKEN STUPOR AT 10 IN THE MORNING LAST SUMMER!!! 

WHAT A BETTER PLACE WE ARE IN, HA!!!!

HE WORKS WITH THE PIGS!!! HE HELPED SLIDEBAR CLEAR THEIR NAME!!!

AND HE IS ORANGE!!!!


benjamin.rojas25
benjamin.rojas25

Fullerton is a better place because of people like Bax!!!

rainfirecat
rainfirecat

Bax has made a real difference in our community with his activism and his love for art. He has earned and deserves recognition. The petty hate is mere junior high level. Jealous much?

*Note to editor: this comment should be pulled until its author(s) can support their claims and accusations with factual and concrete proof.

Freedom of speech does not include libel (or slander) or cyber laws CA PE 646.9 and CA PE 543.2 (h).

rainfirecat
rainfirecat

Marlena, is that is you and Shelly? I'd recognize that venemous hate and paranoia anywhere. Posting under fictitious names will not help you should someone come after you for outrageous libelous comments such as these. IP addresses can be located. Whether items are removed, they leave digital imprints. There are plenty of screen shots as well.

 
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