My suggestions, which come with the caveat (which I feel compelled to include after reading this thread just so someone doesn’t try to take my metaphorical arm off and beat me with it) that these people should not form your entire world view and may not be perfect so you should investigate that shit. I don’t endorse the people. I don’t know them. They could be LeftDiePie, I have no idea, decide for yourself which opinions work for you.
I feel like this should be a given. It’s the video equivalent of opinion pieces, no person can have all perspectives or time necessary to perfectly articulate something. This is a nascent area of culture creation, we don’t know enough about the vast majority of people, some of them will invariably turn out to be shitty people. Some of them will make solid points despite having been, or maybe still being, shitty people. Some of them will be shitty in well defined and universal ways, some will be shitty in ways that aren’t relevant to a lot of people. The concept of “left” covers so much fucking ground that it’s basically not even worth trying to boil down, and it’s also way too broad for me personally to feel comfortable throwing shade.
These are my suggestions that you check out, not my suggestions for you to blindly support.
Peter Coffin: I don’t know enough about Peter personally or his past (but twitter drama I wasn’t around to see presented by people I don’t know seems as suspect as Peter’s own input on account of how easy that shit is to falsify). He has some things worth saying, I’m not convinced that will remain the case with how contentious he is. Don’t get attached, he seems generally incendiary but has not done anything in my short personal experience that would prevent me from suggesting you watch what he puts on YouTube. Watch and see if there’s anything worthwhile there for you.
I’ll also add in here that, as this is an evolving space, I would hesitate to suggest you write them off completely and in perpetuity if you don’t agree with their viewpoints or they way they act, barring they haven’t convinced you they’re not someone you want to support. They may change, for better or worse. I feel like that’s worth keeping in mind.
Contrapoints: I am not an expert. Listen to trans people about what is done wrong and right here. I will say as a cis straight white guy with a black trans friend who is going through her (and yes I am gendering her according to her preference) transition semi-publicly, the channel has done a lot to help me address and self analyze my own internalized transphobia simply through exposure. I think Natalie makes a good point in one of her videos that a lot of the discomfort people experience is due to lack of exposure - and I personally found Contrapoints and worthwhile counter to that sense of unfamiliarity. That was, for me, at least important because I know my friend’s life is considerably more dangerous now, and I needed to deal with me in a way I was incapable of doing at the time, so I could be a better friend to her. I will continue to defer to trans people I actually know as my first point of reference for knowledge on these issues, and continue to not argue the finer points of the trans experience I have not, and will never, have.
Chapo’s a podcast so I’ll leave that out as a recommendation. I listen regularly, but I don’t recall the last time they said the r word - though I know they have before. I’m not always a super attentive listener. Take that as you will.
Shaun: Is good, a nice level headed response channel that occasionally does some culture adjacent stuff. Inconsistent uploader but very thorough.
NonCompete: an interesting channel that leans anarchist. Again, don’t know enough about the person behind it but there’s some interesting stuff there.
donoteat: I love this channel, it’s more history than lefty, but it’s a history of lefty things and that’s always useful. This is the channel I would most whole-heartedly recommend from this list.
Thought Slime: basically repeat Non-Compete’s description here. There’s good stuff. No idea about the person behind it but worth a look.
The Majority Report: A week-daily left leaning radio show broadcast live on YouTube. More news, a bit of dunking. Like if you combined Chapo with a more traditional news show. Has a call in segment that I never listen to, so idk about that shit. The style will likely throw a lot of people. Many find the host annoying, I largely do not. This one’s a “dip your toe in” sort of thing. Closer to The Young Turks than to a critical theory video, but still in the fold.
Innuendo Studios: The best critique of Peter Coffin is probably that Innuendo Studios does what he does but better.
H. Bomberguy: Has his issues, but is a generally fun and weird channel that leans politically left and makes a good bit of video game content. If you don’t like strong opinions on games, then probably not the channel for you. He does some “you’re playing it wrong” critiques that I don’t like in the middle of stuff I otherwise like, but he has a lot of good insights too.
Step Back History: Similar to donoteat, in fact I found this channel from donoteat’s videos. Mostly history with some left politics. This is the channel I would recommend next after donoteat. It’s also the channel on this list that most deserves more attention than it currently has, in my opinion.