That passage is alarming for two reasons: Apparently, we “must acknowledge;” we must admit our collective sin. This is the language not of science, but of the Middle Ages. And just what is meant by “unwelcoming academic cultures?” Are science faculties mean to students of color? Not in my experience. Or are some subjects too difficult for unprepared students, many of whom are “of color?”
Apparently, able students are being excluded by “the misuse of standardized tests, like the GRE [which] exclude students who could otherwise have succeeded.”
The petition cites a Nature research paper that shows that African Americans tend (there is some overlap) to do worse on the GRE than Asians and whites, and men tend to do better than women. What the paper does not demonstrate is that low-scoring students can do as well as high scorers in tough STEM courses, merely mentioning “research by ETS” suggesting that tests only predict first-year performance.