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S.C.V. History
May 24
1860 - Colonel Thomas F. Mitchell arrives in Soledad Canyon [story]
T.F. Mitchell


Dr. Gene DorioMost people don’t know I was born in Harlem. We left New York in 1954 because my parents told us the weather in California would be better for my brother’s asthma. In reality, we were political exiles escaping the civil rights battles of the big city.

Racism. I never knew of it, as we were protected by our parents. But evidence was always there, like the Green Book they used to get cross-country, avoiding states that might arrest them because they were a mixed couple.

When I was 11, my mother, who is Japanese-Canadian, called a real-estate agent to view an open house. Ringing the doorbell, my mom introduced herself as Mrs. Dorio and promptly got the door slammed on us, with the trailing voice echoing, “It’s sold!”

Growing up in an African-American community was my comfort zone. In my entire early years through high school, I did not face racism. Too often, I heard the “N” word derogatively thrown at my friends, yet we had been taught to ignore offensive words, turn the other cheek, and follow succinct commands of the police.

Once I left my community, I found out how much worse racism was.

 

Gene Uzawa Dorio, M.D., is a geriatric house-call physician who serves as president of the Los Angeles County Commission for Older Adults and Assemblyman to the California Senior Legislature. He has practiced in the Santa Clarita Valley for 32 years.

 

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