Two strands here. The centring of 'whiteness' is an historical accident. Had the Renaissance, Age of Reason and Industrial Revolution taken place in Africa, we would be talking about the centring of 'blackness'.
The centring of self is peculiar to specific cultures - most notably the US and UK, in which the cult of individualism developed. In other countries, such as France or Italy, it tends to be more family-centred. German and Japanese cultures tend to emphasise the group.
As a result of this, the 'Anglo-Saxons' (as De Gaulle dubbed the British and Americans) are far more likely to be personally defensive and far less likely to take collective action to tackle the basic issues.