John Walsh and Jonathan Winthrop

Health Teaching Project
November 20, 2019
week 1 proposal
November 24, 2019

It’s sad to think that people can select who they want to live in their neighborhood and based their decision not on the ability to pay, but whether you are part of the “in” crowd. This has been happening for years to people of color, but it was interesting to read it also happened to someone who was an executive at their company, had money and the ability to purchase whatever property he desired. He was rejected, not based on his ability to pay, but because he didn’t respond to the questions and say what the board wanted to hear. Based on these facts, John Walsh deserved to win this case based on moral reasoning.
The case brought by John Walsh, the chief executive of the Elizabeth Grady chain of skincare salons, was a story about a man, who wanted to purchase a co-op in a neighborhood that many thought of as “exclusive” to a certain kind of group. John Walsh feels he was rejected to live in a building based on his humble roots and Irish descent. Jonathan Winthrop, the head of the board, and the successor of Massachusetts governor John Winthrop decided John Walsh could not purchase property in his neighborhood. Winthrop sent Walsh a rejection letter stating that he wouldn’t fit into the cooperative community. Affirmative Action needs to play a role in this case because this was someone with an immigrant background being rejected based on their nationality. A person shouldn’t be able to reject someone based on their upbringing or the person feels they are better than them. Everyone should have an equal opportunity, especially if they are able to afford it.
John Walsh was rejected even though his net is worth more than 100 million. The building is located on 68 Beacon St. in Boston. It is a luxury building with a very nice view. The apartment Walsh wanted was a 2,000-square-story. Walsh said, “The board was so intent on keeping him out that it attempted to buy the 2,000-square-foot unit after Walsh had signed a $700,000 purchase and sale agreement with the owner, Sovereign Bank” (Andrea Estes, 2008). The board felt they could just buy him out. Winthrop felt with the power they have, and the class they are in, they felt Walsh wouldn’t fit in. The board believed because of his upbringing that he would bring trouble to the neighborhood. However, Walsh felt he was unfairly rejected for ownership in the building and decided to fight.
John Winthrop is known as a “self-made,” person. He owns buildings, has a good reputation from being under the governor of Massachusetts, and is wealthy. John was determined to not let anyone move into this neighborhood unless the families came from money. The cooperative board paid a $2.2m settlement to make sure that Walsh would go away and lose interest in this building.
This clearly was a case of two rich men who made the money very differently. Old money vs new money. John Winthrop, who was wealthy from investing his money and thought he was an elite based on positions he held in government compared to John Walsh who was an executive to a well-known salon, worked hard for his money and wanted a better life for himself. John Walsh deserved to win this case based on moral reasoning because this is clearly a case of discrimination based on his nationality. He was treated very differently and rejected based on his answers to the questions, his position as an executive in a salon, assuming he would open a salon business; and his background and upbringing. Winthrop having old money, which ties into feeling anyone making money from new trends isn’t in the same social class. Walsh had new money, which he gained from the community, and finding new ways to stay on top of today’s trend. Walsh wants to help people around him, were Winthrop only helps people in his lane.
It can be difficult for these boards in wealthy areas to prove why they are rejecting people to purchase the property; however, in this case, it is clear that John Walsh had the ability to purchase this property. He had a “self-made” background, similar to those living in this property and the only different was his Irish descent. The old should fit in with the new and the new should fit in with the old, meaning generations need to change the view on the value of money. Realize everyone comes from different places and have a different background, but just want to succeed and have commons goals.


Estes, Andrea. (2008). Luxury co-op pays $2.2m settlement.


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