Lauren McDonald: Nose ring, tattoos, flannel shirt? You must be getting foreclosed on.

I have lived in Sapulpa, Oklahoma my entire life. I graduated from Sapulpa High School in 2007 and my family has owned a business here since 1971. On July 18, I entered the Sapulpa County Treasurer’s Office to purchase vehicle stamps for my family’s business, K&N Motorcycles Inc. As I walked through the door, the young lady working the front desk greeted me; standing next to her was our Sapulpa County Treasurer, Don Engle. Before I could state my business there, he rudely said to me, “Let me guess: You’re here to try and make a payment on your mobile home that you were notified was being foreclosed due to lack of payment.” I was a bit taken aback by what he said. I responded, “No, I’m here to purchase vehicle stamps for a business…” He then said to me, “Oh. Well I didn’t mean anything by that, but you just looked like you were coming in to make a payment on your mobile home.”

He stereotyped me and judged me solely based on my appearance. Is it because I have a nose ring, tattoos, and am wearing a flannel shirt? Those three things automatically qualify me as someone who is about to be foreclosed on their property for lack of payment? What gives Mr. Engle the right to pass judgement on me for simply walking in his office to conduct business? It is a shame that the good people of this town have elected such a narrow-minded, harsh-spoken individual to serve this community.

Thank you,
Lauren McDonald

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