The commentary "Divestment Advocates Push Their Cause With Other People's Money" (Oct. 26) was a self-serving and equally self-righteous editorial. Its author accuses proponents of disinvestment in South Africa of ethical bankruptcy when, in fact, it is Bill Cleator who is scrambling for moral ground.
Mr. Cleator contends that if I do not have stock in IBM or a stake in the pension fund, I have no right to advocate divestiture because I am not at risk of losing money. In his simple-minded analysis, he fails to see how I and millions of other Americans are at grave risk in the long run.
If and when South African blacks assume political authority, they will surely remember those nations that supported the white regime. If the U.S. government and private industry were to continue de facto support of the apartheid system through monetary investments, then we as a nation would be the enemy of any future black majority government. As such, we would be on the other end of sanctions. And, as we know, the United States is dependent on South Africa for strategic minerals.
Therefore, I as an American citizen have the right and duty to pressure my legislators to enact laws protecting my future, whether or not I have an immediate financial interest. For Mr. Cleator to suggest that my actions are following in the "tradition of the radical chic" is pure hyperbole, designed to cloud the unethical significance of his statements.