I never heard the term Critical Race Theory until about a month ago, when I became aware of the indoctrinated Cult of Con members whining about it on the anti-social media. So I decided to find out what manner of propaganda the Rightwing Rubes were being fed now.
Turns out it's really just a term for the study of institutional racism in the United States, a thing we ALL learned a little about in grade school (Civil War, Jim Crow). But also a subject the great depth of which I've learned much more about in recent years (the GI Bill, redlining, neighborhood covenants, etc.). Institutional racism in this country is undeniable, no matter what you call it and if that truth offends your lily-white sensibilities then suck it snowflake.
So is America a racist country? Unfortunately, the answer is a resounding YES! But that doesn't make us exceptional, it makes us unexceptional, just like most all the other countries on the planet. Is there an exception? I can't think of one.
Look at what every single colonial power did to the indigenous peoples of their colonies. Look at what the Israelis are doing to the Palestinians, what the Chinese are doing to the Uighurs, the Burmese to the Rohingya, the Turks to the Kurds and the Armenians, the Sunni to the Shia or vice versa in the Muslim world. War on Drugs & Incarceration Nation anyone? I could go on and on around the globe and back through history.
The fact is that among human societies everywhere, the dominant group with the power will marginalize any group within it's grasp. So, if it makes you feel any better, the shame of racism shouldn't be assigned to your country, it belongs to your species.
What DOES make America exceptional? It was founded not as a nation state (based on race), but as a notion state (based on ideas). And striving for that notion that all men are created equal makes America perhaps the best chance for achieving a diverse society within an inclusive and functioning representative democracy that is the human race's best hope for Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Or we can continue to wallow in our exclusive racial/religious/you-name-it identities, continue to practice marginalization and destroy our Republic. It's up to you America.